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Southeastern Virginia | Vol. 50 No. 17 | 21 Sivan 5772 | June 11, 2012
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Temple Sinai and Ohef Sholom merge â€”page 9
INSIDE 8 JFS Week of Healthy Living
11 BSV Auxillary installs new officers
Federation-Synagogue grants program 3
Susan and Jon Becker Create a Jewish Legacy
Letter Where were the nurses?
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read your recent issue (May 28, 2012) regarding medical services in the Tidewater Jewish community. I was very disappointed that there was only a slight blip mentioning nursing contribution to health care. You missed a great opportunity to address the contribution of the many Jewish nurses in our community. There are many registered nurses, advanced practice registered nurses, nurse practitioners, clinical specialists who work in various specialties. Unfortunately, I did not see any mention either to inform or educate our Jewish community as to our contribution to health care in our community. The Maimonides Society might consider welcoming nurse practitioners to participate in their organization and be part of their mission. Margarita Simon, MS, FNP-BC, CWCN Virginia Beach, Va.
We’ve moved to Hilltop North across from No Frill Grill. Just 300 yards from our old store!
2 | Jewish News | June 11, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org
Federation-Synagogue grants program seeks to build a strong community
ontinuing its yearlong effort to strengthen temples and synagogues in the Tidewater community, the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater recently launched its Federation-Synagogue Grants program. Funds are being made available for innovative projects that will solidify the role of synagogues as welcoming, inspired and inclusive communities. UJFT made the Federation-Synagogue partnership a top priority in its 2011 completed strategic plan. Throughout the year, UJFT pursued this partnership with a vigor, establishing a community-wide Shabbaton involving all synagogues and movements. UJFT also created a special section on its website dedicated to synagogue affairs and developed a community concierge program serving and referring new community members to synagogues. The long-anticipated request for proposals were welcomed by all the synagogues and preliminary discussions are being held to find out if promising ideas meet the criteria of innovation, outreach and engagement, and other strategies that can help a synagogue grow in quality and numbers. It is anticipated that all synagogues will meet the participation criteria and projects can begin July 1, 2012. The model for the project is the much acclaimed and nationally recognized
cover photo: Steve Budman
Letter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
National Nursing Home Week at BSV . . . . . 14
Federation Grants. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Yeshivas Aish Kodesh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Briefs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Leah Wohl and Performing Arts at the J. . . . 16
Torah Thought . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Temple Israel honors seniors . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Ambassador Ron Prosor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Mazel Tov: PayDay’s win. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
JFS Week of Healthy Living . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
What’s Happening. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Temple Sinai merges with Ohef Sholom. . . . . 9
Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
JFS donor reception . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Mazel Tov . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
BSV Auxiliary’s new officers. . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Women’s Salon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Create a Jewish Legacy: Susan and Jon Becker. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Obituaries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Face to Face: Armand Caplan. . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Synagogue 3000 initiative. The New York City Federation has been a leader in using this model in pioneering a new era of Synagogue-Federation relations. There is no quid pro quo in the NYC model other than the desire to strengthen synagogues, strengthen the community and fill the lives of people with Jewish wonder. “I am thrilled that we continue to march forward with this aspect of our strategic plan. We have honored our commitment to our community to build a better community and to strengthen our synagogues and our partnership with them,” says Alvin Wall, UJFT president. The effort also includes elements that have been successful in communities such as Springfield, Mass. that have modified the Synagogue 3000 model. Other communities are calling Tidewater to ask about efforts in Federation-Synagogue partnership. “We have stayed true to our strategic and our collective word to pursue a fruitful partnership with our synagogues. It has not always been easy, as all of us have to learn to think and act in a manner that transcends our organizations. However, UJFT is committed to building a strong community. I am proud of what we have done this year and excited about this new initiative,” says Harry Graber, UJFT executive vice president.
Published 22 times a year by United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus of the Tidewater Jewish Community 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Suite 200 Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462-4370 voice 757.965.6100 fax 757.965.6102 e-mail email@example.com www.jewishVA.org Terri Denison, Editor Germaine Clair, Art Director Hal Sacks, Book Review Editor Sandy Goldberg, Account Executive Sharon Freeman, Account Executive Mark Hecht, Account Executive Marilyn Cerase, Subscription Manager Reba Karp, Editor Emeritus Alvin Wall, President Stephanie Calliott, Secretary Harry Graber, Executive Vice-President The appearance of advertising in the Jewish News does not constitute a kashrut endorsement. The articles and letters appearing herein are not necessarily the opinion of this newspaper. © 2012 Jewish News all rights reserved Subscription: $18 year For subscription or change of address, call 757-965-6128 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upcoming Deadlines for Editorial and Advertising June 25 Legal June 8 July 16 UJFT Annual Report June 22 August 20 August 3 September 3 Rosh Hashanah August 17 September 17 Yom Kippur August 31 October 8 Mazel Tov September 21 October 22 October 5 November 12 Home October 26
“There is not
Friday, June 15/Sivan 25 Light candles at 8:07 pm
a single civilian good
Friday, June 22/Tammuz 2 Light candles at 8:08 pm
that cannot enter Gaza today.
Friday, June 29/Tammuz 9 Light candles at 8:09 pm
Yet, as aid flows into the area,
Friday, July 6/Tammuz 16 Light candles at 8:08 pm
missiles fly out.”
Friday, July 13/Tammuz 23 Light candles at 8:05pm —page 6
Friday, July 20/Av 1 Light candles at 8:02pm
jewishnewsva.org | June 11, 2012 | Jewish News | 3
briefs Adelson and Romney meet Mitt Romney met with Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino magnate who took aim at Romney’s presidential campaign by substantially backing challenger Newt Gingrich. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and likely Republican presidential candidate, met for 45 minutes last month with Adelson in Las Vegas, where Romney was to attend a fundraiser organized by celebrity Donald Trump. Adelson until March had backed the candidacy of Gingrich, the former U.S. House of Representatives speaker, in part because Gingrich and Adelson had become friends in the 1990s over their hawkishness on Israel. Millions of dollars funneled into proGingrich groups by Adelson and his wife, Miriam, helped prolong Gingrich’s campaign. Adelson subsequently said he would back whomever won the GOP primaries. Romney clinched the nomination Tuesday, May 30 with his victory in the Texas primary. (JTA) Family Guy appeals to ‘overprivileged
Brentwood Jews’ in Emmy ad Family Guy appealed for an Emmy Award by asking “overprivileged Brentwood Jews” to “let us into your little club.” The ad was created as part of the FOX comedy’s “for your consideration” DVD mailer to Emmy voters, the Hollywood award news website Gold Derby reported. The awards are presented by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. On Twitter, Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane shared the photo, billing it “the Emmy ad the trades refused to run,” referring to Hollywood trade publications. It’s not the first time the show has made Jewish tongue-in-cheek references in their Emmy appeals. In 2009, the show became the first animated series since The Flintstones to earn an Emmy nomination for outstanding comedy series. According to Deadline.com, that year’s mailer included the tag line, “You have to vote for us—we did a Holocaust episode.” (JTA) Israel among ‘happiest’ countries Israel is among the happiest countries in the world, according to an examination of international data by a finance website. According to the site Daily Finance, an analysis of data compiled by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ranks Israel as the sixth happiest country in the world. Israel scored high in “life satisfaction,”
educational attainment and life expectancy, among other markers. Eighty-one percent of Israelis selfreported that they were in “good” or “very good” health. Denmark was rated the happiest country in the world; the United States was No. 11. (JTA)
who reached South America intermarried with the indigenous population, whose descendants later migrated to Mexico and then the United States, Haaretz reported. Colorado’s Mexican Indians do not have any traditions that link them to Jews, according to Eitan Friedman, who headed the Sheba team. (JTA)
Madonna gives concert tickets to peace activists Madonna donated 600 tickets to her concert in Israel to Israeli and Palestinian peace activists. Some 30,000 fans attended what Madonna is calling a “concert for peace” on Thursday, May 31 at Ramat Gan Stadium near Tel Aviv. The performance is launching the pop star’s world tour. On Wednesday, May 30, Madonna met with Israeli and Palestinian peace activists, according to Haaretz. In March, Madonna had announced her show as a peace concert and said she would invite activists, saying in a statement: “Music is so universal, and if there’s any chance that through my performance I can bring further attention and enlightenment to honor the peace efforts in the Middle East and help people come together, it would be an honor for me. It is my way of thanking those who are making so much effort toward bringing peace to the Middle East.” Madonna, 54, twice has performed sold-out shows in Israel, including the last performance of her “Sticky and Sweet” tour in 2009. She also has visited Israel with her children as part of her devotion to the study of kabbalah; they are with her now. (JTA)
Ashley Biden marries Jewish doctor Ashley Biden, the daughter of Vice President Joe Biden married a Jewish doctor. Ashley Biden, 31, and Dr. Howard Krein were married Saturday, June 2 in Wilmington, Del. in an interfaith JewishCatholic ceremony at the Biden family’s church. Biden and Krein reportedly dated for a year before they became engaged last September. Biden is a social worker. Krein is an ear, nose and throat specialist at Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia. “We’re happy to welcome Howard into our family, and we wish them all the best in their new life together,” said a statement from the vice president and his wife Jill, issued after the wedding. The couple will reside in Philadelphia. Hallie Biden, married to the vice president’s son, Beau, is also Jewish. (JTA)
Colorado Indians, Jews share genetic marker Israeli geneticists have linked a Native American population in Colorado to Jews expelled from Spain during the Inquisition. Geneticists at the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv discovered the genetic mutation marker BRCA1 in a group of Mexican Indians who had emigrated from Mexico to the United States over the past 200 years and settled in Colorado, Haaretz reported. BRCA1 is found in Jews of Ashkenazi origin and leads to a higher incidence of breast and ovarian cancer. Researchers say the mutation found in the Colorado Indians is identical to that of Ashkenazim, according to Haaretz, and dates to a period more than 600 years ago. Jews were expelled from Spain in the 15th century. Researchers say this offers genetic proof that some of the Jews expelled from Spain
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Max Fried, 18, drafted by Padres Max Fried, an 18-year-old high school graduate from Los Angeles, was selected by the San Diego Padres in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft. Fried, a left-handed pitcher, was chosen seventh overall in the draft on Monday, June 4. The teen, who wore the number 32 at Harvard-Westlake High School in honor of Jewish Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax, told the Los Angeles Times that Koufax is his baseball hero. His curveball is also similar to Koufax’s. Fried was a member of the 2009 gold medal-winning USA 18th World Maccabiah Juniors baseball team. The newspaper predicts that it will take about $3 million to sign Fried, who had committed in November to play for UCLA. (JTA) Yad Vashem, European group sign pact to enhance Holocaust education Yad Vashem and the Council of Europe have signed a memorandum of understanding to promote Holocaust education throughout the council’s 47 member states. The agreement was signed at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem by Avner Shalev, chairman of Yad Vashem, and Thorbjorn Jagland, the council’s secretary general. It formalizes an
ad-hoc relationship over the last 15 years and encourages new programs to enhance cooperation. Among the items included are exploring the organization of a Holocaust education policy forum at Yad Vashem for educational policymakers, and fostering and developing cooperative relationships between member states and Yad Vashem. “This agreement denotes willingness to deepen and enhance Holocaust education in Europe, and to encourage teacher training and to reconstitute historical awareness,” Avner said. The International School for Holocaust Studies of Yad Vashem conducts some 70 seminars annually for educators from abroad and produces material in 20 languages. The council is an international organization promoting cooperation among European countries in the areas of legal standards, human rights, democratic development, the rule of law and culture. (JTA) CUNY: No Jewish faculty designation The City University of New York denied a report that it had created a special minority designation for Jewish faculty. Rather, a university spokesman told JTA, the university simply had responded to requests by Jewish faculty members to be recruited for focus groups aimed at boosting the recruitment of minorities to serve on the CUNY faculty—part of the university’s new Demographic Action Plan. The original report about the Demographic Action Plan appeared in the New York Post and was picked up by JTA, among other news outlets. The Post quoted faculty members, Jews and non-Jews, objecting to the demographic designation of White/Jewish. The article in the Post “mistakenly suggests that a new special category for Jewish faculty has been created,” university spokesman Michael Arena told JTA. “CUNY undertook a comprehensive review of its ongoing efforts to enhance its leadership role in recruiting and retaining a highly qualified and diverse faculty. Focus groups were organized with faculty volunteers serving as participants for a variety of diverse groups. The focus group of Jewish faculty came explicitly at the request of Jewish faculty. No one ever contemplated adding a religious faith to the data categories.” The university’s new Demographic Action Plan was issued last month by CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein. (JTA)
A final Shabbat Sermon
This is the last Shabbat sermon delivered by Rabbi Arthur Steinberg at Temple Sinai on May 25, 2012:
his Sunday, May 27th, is the date of the third of our three Pilgrimage Festivals, Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks, which marked the occasion of our ancestors traveling to Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem originally to offer first-fruits of the season and later, to commemorate the giving of the gift of Torah at Sinai. The agricultural aspect is related to the origins of many ancient festivals of this season. The associated historic event, however, has always had relevance for the Jewish people because it represents that seminal moment when we met God at Sinai. How apropos it is that this Festival occurs in two days, within a week of the time Sinai gives its gift of Torah to Ohef Sholom Temple and our congregation, Sinai, where we have continued to meet with God, closes its doors. There must be a few great sermons hidden there. The Torah text which describes that historic event is disturbing in that it suggests (according to one way of reading) that God’s voice is silent ever after the Mount Sinai experience. “These words the Lord spoke to all assembled at the mount—out of the midst of the fire, the clouds and the thick darkness—with a great voice which was not heard again” The problem is that such a reading leaves us with a sense of disenfranchise-
ment. If God spoke only that once, then we are now distant and unconnected. That is why so many scholars rely on a reading by Onkelos, one of the earliest Aramaic translators of the Torah. Instead of reading “not heard again,” Onkelos translated the original Hebrew as “spoke with a great voice that did not cease” which is a perfectly legitimate rendition of the Hebrew. And so we have a choice to make as we look at this verse. Are the events of Sinai representative of ongoing participation in a relationship with our people and its ideals or is it merely the exaggerated narrative of some ancient—possibly fictitious—event? For some, Sinai is irrelevant, for some it is the very core of the Jewish experience. In my years with you, I have encouraged acceptance of that alternate understanding so that we continue to listen for the reverberation of God’s message in our lives. One way to understand that message is to believe that there is goodness in this world. There is love and kindness, tenderness and caring. These are among the awesome mysteries of life and they do exist. In spite of all the horrors of this world, in spite of the pain and hurt that comes our way, in spite of all the sorrows that we witness, in spite of all the cruelties which claim their victims day by day, there are values and ideals we still cherish, the decencies of life we still embrace. And if you tell me, “I’ll believe it when I see it,” you’ve got it backwards. That is not the way it goes. You will see it when you believe it, when you believe it with all your heart. Don’t ask me how and don’t ask me why. Let me keep my awe and wonder about it. Some proclaim that God demands it of us, some may say that these are what God is, some teach that this is what our faith requires. I’m not looking that far for answers. I only want to keep the wonder in my heart…and maybe pass it on to others. For 32 years this temple has been the focus of my life and that of my family… and for many of those years it has been
want to keep
the wonder in my
heart…and maybe pass it on to others.
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the focus of you and yours, too. Within its walls I have named, taught and married you, taught your children, guided them through their bar and bat mitzvahs, blessed them at their confirmations, married your sons and daughters, rejoiced at your simchas, buried your dead and led you in your yahrtzeits. Good times and bad, great times and sad, it has been for you as it has been for me, the scene of every possible emotion known to humankind. But in my typical, self serving way, I’ve just mentioned the things I’ve done for you. Let me tell you now about the things you’ve done for me. In all these years, I’ve seldom spoken about God, too presumptuous, too theological, too immodest. But let me tell you that because of you, I see God all the time. I see God every day because of you. I see God in the hallways of hospitals where you and your siblings count the fearsome hours while a parent or grandparent lies on a bed of discomfort. I see God in the countless ways that you dedicatedly devote your time and energies and finances to benefit a multitude of institutions for human and humane rescue, without honor and without recognition. I see God in every relationship of loving and helping and giving between parents and children, between husbands and wives, between friends and partners. I see God in schoolrooms where teachers patiently, lovingly, strive to open the minds
of children. I see God in your lives as you struggle to help the disadvantaged achieve the dignity which other human beings have denied them. I see God in every good deed you’ve performed, in your every act of compassion, in every struggle against injustice and exploitation, in every anxious tear you’ve shed over another’s sorrow, in every courageous fight for righteousness. Every time you show care and concern for another human being, God is there. And if God is here now, it is not because this is a synagogue or even because this is a special Shabbat. If God is here, it is because we’ve brought God here in our wonder, our remorse, our hope, our cynicism, our love, our idealism, waiting to be filled with the power and the understanding that we alone can bring to each other when we gather to be inspired by the teachings of our tradition. Idealistic? Of course. Jewish? Unquestionably! Now, how could this change just because we change our street address? That’s ridiculous and the question is unworthy of us. In another week or so, as I drive away from home in the morning, in a new direction, I will be commencing a journey forward. I pray that you will be doing the same. Shabbat Shalom. Rabbi Arthur Steinberg, Ohef Sholom Temple.
jewishnewsva.org | June 11, 2012 | Jewish News | 5
Statement by Ambassador Ron Prosor, UN Security Council, 23 april 2012
“Open debate on the situation in the Middle East”
hank you, Madame President. Let me begin by thanking you, personally, for your outstanding leadership of the Security Council this month. Churchill once said, “In the time that it takes a lie to get halfway around the world, the truth is still getting its pants on.” In the barren deserts of the Middle East, myths find fertile ground to grow wild. Facts often remain buried in the sand. The myths forged in our region travel abroad —and can surprisingly find their way into these halls. I would like to use today’s debate as an opportunity to address just a few of the myths that have become a permanent hindrance to our discussion of the Middle East here at the United Nations. Madame President, Myth number one: the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict is the central conflict in the Middle East. If you solve that conflict, you solve all the other conflicts in the region. Make no mistake: it is important for Israel and the Palestinians to resolve our
longstanding conflict for its own merits. Yet, the truth is that conflicts in Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Bahrain, and many other parts of the Middle East have absolutely nothing to do with Israel. It is obvious that resolving the IsraeliPalestinian Conflict won’t stop the persecution of minorities across the region, end the subjugation of women, or heal the sectarian divides. Obsessing over Israel has not stopped Assad’s tanks from flattening entire communities. On the contrary, it has only distracted attention from his crimes. This debate—even this morning—has lost any sense of proportion. Thousands are being killed in Syria, hundreds in Yemen, dozens in Iraq—and yet, this debate again repeatedly is focusing on the legitimate actions of the government of the only democracy in the Middle East. And dedicating the majority of this debate to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, month after month after after month, has not stopped the Iranian regime’s centrifuges from spinning. Iran’s ambitions for nuclear weapons are the single greatest threat to the Middle East, and the entire world.
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Madame President, Myth number three: settlements are the primary obstacle to peace. How many times have we heard that argument in this chamber? Just this month, the Human Rights Council proposed yet another “fact-finding” mission to Israel. It will explore… surprise, surprise…Israeli settlements. Today, I’d like to save the Human Rights Council and the international community some time and energy. The facts have already been found. They are plain for all to see. The fact is that from 1948 until 1967, the West Bank was part of Jordan, and Gaza was part of Egypt. The Arab World did nothing—it did not lift a finger—to create a Palestinian state. And it sought Israel’s annihilation when not a single settlement stood anywhere in the West Bank or Gaza. The fact is that in 2005, when I was the Director-General of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, we took every settlement out of Gaza and only got rockets on our cities in return. The fact is that this Israeli Government put in place an unprecedented ten-month moratorium on settlements. The Palestinian leadership used the gesture as an opportunity to take Israel and the international community on another ride to nowhere. For nine out of those 10 months, they rejected the moratorium as insufficient— and then demanded that we extend it. As former U.S. Special Envoy George Mitchell said “what had been less than worthless a few months earlier became indispensable to continue negotiations…[for the Palestinians].”
have said clearly
Madame President, Myth number two: there is a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip. In fact, numerous international organizations have said clearly that there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza, including the Deputy Head of the Red Cross Office in the area. Gaza’s real GDP grew by more than 25 percent during the first three quarters of 2011. Exports are expanding. International humanitarian projects are moving forward at a rapid pace. There is not a single civilian good that cannot enter Gaza today. Yet, as aid flows into the area, missiles fly out. This is the crisis in Gaza. And that is what keeps Gaza from realizing its real potential. It is a simple equation. If it is calm in Israel, it will be calm in Gaza. But the people of Gaza will face hardship as long as terrorists use them as human shields to rain rockets down on Israeli cities. Each rocket in Gaza is armed with a warhead capable of causing a political earthquake that would extend well beyond Israel’s borders. It will only take one rocket that lands in the wrong place at the wrong time to change the equation on the ground. If that happens, Israel’s leaders would be forced to respond in a completely different manner. It is time for all in this Chamber to finally wake up to that dangerous reality. The Security Council has not condemned a single rocket attack from Gaza. History’s lessons are clear. Today’s silence is tomorrow’s tragedy.
that there is no
humanitarian crisis in Gaza, including the Deputy Head of the Red Cross Office in the area.
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The Iranian nuclear program continues to advance at the speed of an express train. The international community’s efforts to stop them are moving at the pace of the local train, pausing at every stop for some nations to get on and off. The danger of inaction is clear. We cannot allow the diplomatic channel to provide another avenue for the Iranian regime to stall for more time, as they inch closer and closer to a nuclear weapon.
Madame President, The primary obstacle to peace is not settlements. The primary obstacle to peace is the so-called “claim of return”—and the Palestinian’s refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist as the nation-state of the Jewish people.
You will never hear Palestinian leaders say “two states for two peoples”. You won’t hear them say “two states for two peoples” because today the Palestinian leadership is calling for an independent Palestinian state, but insists that its people return to the Jewish state. This would mean the destruction of Israel. Some of you might say, “Oh Ambassador, but the Palestinians know that they will have to give up this claim, that’s what they whisper quietly at the negotiating table.” Ladies and Gentleman—the Palestinian leadership has never, ever said publicly that they will give up the so-called “claim of return”—neither to the Palestinian people, nor to the Arab World, nor to the international community, or to anyone else. Since the Palestinian leadership refuses to tell the Palestinian people the truth, the international community has the responsibility and duty to tell them the truth. You have a duty to stand up and say that the so-called “claim of return” is a non-starter. Instead of telling the Palestinian people the truth, much of the international community stands idle as the Arab World tries to erase the Jewish people’s historical connection to the Land of Israel. Across the Arab World—and even at this table—you hear claims that Israel is “Judaizing Jerusalem.” These accusations come about 3,000 years too late. It’s like accusing the NBA of Americanizing basketball. Like many nations around this table, the Jewish people have a proud legacy of age-old kings and queens. It’s just that our tradition goes back a few years earlier. Since King David laid the cornerstone for his palace in the 10th Century BC, Jerusalem has served as the heart of our faith. In debate after debate, speakers sit in the Security Council and say that Israel is committing “ethnic cleansing” in Jerusalem, even though the percentage of Arab residents in the city has grown from 26% to 35% since 1967. The holiest sites in Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people, were closed only to Jews from 1948 until 1967. Everyone could come to these sites except Jews. There was absolutely no freedom of worship. The world did not say a word about the situation in Jerusalem at that time. Since Israel unified the city, it has thrived under the values of tolerance and freedom. For the first time in centuries,
sacred places that were once sealed off along religious lines are now permanently open for worship by all peoples. This is a principle grounded in our values, our actions and our laws. Madame President, There is another great truth that this organization has completely overlooked for the past 64 years. In all of the pages that the UN has written about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, in all of its reports and fact-finding commissions, and in all of the hours dedicated to debate about the Middle East, there is one great untold story. Or—to be more specific—there are more than 850,000 untold stories. More than 850,000 Jews have been uprooted from their homes in Arab countries during the past 64 years. These were vibrant communities dating back 2,500 years. On the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, Babylonian Jewry produced many of Judaism’s holiest books —and thrived for two millennia. In the great synagogues and libraries of Cairo, Jews preserved the intellectual and scientific treasures of antiquity into the Renaissance. From Aleppo to Aden to Alexandria, Jews stood out as some of the greatest artists, musicians, businessmen, and writers. All of these communities were wiped out. Age-old family businesses and properties were confiscated. Jewish quarters were destroyed. Pogroms left synagogues looted, graveyards desecrated and thousands dead. The pages that the UN has written about the Palestinian refugees could fill up soccer stadiums, but not a drop of ink has been spilled about the Jewish refugees. Out of over 1088 UN resolutions on the Middle East, you will not find a single syllable regarding the displacement of Jewish refugees. There have been more than 172 resolutions exclusively devoted to Palestinian refugees, but not one dedicated to Jewish refugees. The Palestinian refugees have their own UN agency, their own information program, and their own department within the United Nations. None exist for the Jewish refugees. The word “double-standard” does not even begin to describe this gap. This discrepancy is very convenient for some in this Chamber, but it’s not right. The time has come for the UN to end its complicity in trying to erase the stories of
850,000 people from history. The time has also come to speak openly in these halls about the Arab World’s role in maintaining the Palestinians as refugees for more than six decades. Jews from Arab countries came to refugee camps in Israel, which eventually gave birth to thriving towns and cities. Refugee camps in Arab Countries gave birth to more Palestinian refugees. Israel welcomed its Jewish refugees with citizenship and unlocked their vast potential. As they rose to the highest levels of society, our refugees lifted the State of Israel to new heights. Imagine if Arab countries had done the same with their Palestinian refugees. Instead, they have cynically perpetuated their status as refugees, for generation after generation. Across the Arab World, Palestinians have been denied citizenship, rights and opportunities. All of these are facts that must be neither forgotten nor overlooked, as we look to move forward on the path to peace.
pendence. On Wednesday, sirens will sound across Israel. For two minutes, everything will come to a halt. People will stop in their tracks, cars will pull over to the side of highways, and the entire country will pause to remember the more than 22,000 Israelis who have been killed by wars and terrorism in our nation’s short history. On Thursday, we will celebrate the rebirth of the Jewish nation—and our 64thyear as a free people in our ancient homeland. Against persistent threats and overwhelming odds, Israel has not only survived, but thrived. I walk the halls of this organization tall and proud of my extraordinary nation—a nation of just 7 million that has produced 10 Nobel prizes; a nation that sends satellites into space, puts electric cars on the road, and develops the technology to power everything from cell phones to solar panels to medical devices. We intentionally commemorate these two days one after another. As the Israeli people celebrate our independence, we carry the heavy weight of great suffering and sacrifice. The lesson we take from these days is clear. We can never turn a blind eye to the dangers around us. We cannot pretend that we live in a stable region filled with Jeffersonian democracies. But there is another lesson that will fill the hearts of Israelis this week. We can never, ever give up hope for lasting peace. The price of conflict is too high. The evil of war is too great. That is the fundamental truth which guides our leaders.
The pages that the
UN has written
about the Palestinian refugees could fill up soccer stadiums,
but not a drop of ink has been spilled
about the Jewish refugees.
Madame President, I’ve saved the most obvious myth for last: the myth that peace can somehow be achieved between Israelis and Palestinians by bypassing direct negotiations. History has shown that peace and negotiations are inseparable. Direct negotiations are the only tool, the only way and the only path to create two-states for two peoples. Last January, Israel offered a clear proposal in Amman for restarting direct negotiations. We presented the Palestinian delegation with negotiating positions on every major issue separating the parties. That proposal—filled with Israel’s vision for peace—continues to gather dust, as Palestinian leaders continue to pile up new pre-conditions for sitting with Israel. They are everywhere except the negotiating table. It is time for them to give up unilateral efforts to internationalize the conflict and take up the real path to peace. Madame President, This week we will observe the two most significant public holidays in Israel—our day of remembrance and our day of inde-
Madame President, In the dangerous uncertainty of a turbulent Middle East, the Security Council has never had a greater responsibility to separate myth from truth, and fact from fiction. The clarity of candor has never been more valuable. The need for honest discourse has never been clearer. It is time for this Council to sweep out the cobwebs of old illusions—and plant the seeds for a truly “open” debate on the Middle East. The challenges before us demand nothing less.
jewishnewsva.org | June 11, 2012 | Jewish News | 7
Week of Health Living ran, rested and recycled
Temple Sinai is back home at Ohef Sholom Temple
ewish Family Service of Tidewater celebrated the “3 R’s” of Healthy Living —Running, Resting and Recycling —during the 8th Annual Week of Healthy Living. The week started off with the annual Run, Roll or Stroll at Neptune’s Park on May 6. The cloudy day didn’t hamper the spirits of the many volunteers or the more than 500 participants in the 8K, 5K or 1 Mile Run/Walk. The team award was presented to “Team Tiger” of Hebrew Academy of Tidewater for fielding more than 149 team members. On Tuesday, June 8, more than 150 people packed the Fleder Multi-Purpose Room at the Sandler Family Campus to hear Dr. Michael Breus, the Sleep Doctor. Breus presented numerous tips and tricks for getting the most efficient sleep and he fielded many questions from the audience. The week concluded with a “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Replenish” event on Wednesday, May 9 and a Major Donor Reception on Thursday, May 10 (see related article and photos on page 10). Jewish Family Service is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
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Chana Hines with Aytana Hines-Anthony and Elan Hines-Anthony.
Matthew Reass and Melissa Damico got engaged after they finished the 8K race! Mazel tov! by Terri Denison
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Dr. Michael Breus, The Sleep Doctor, autographs his books after his Sleep...Your Way to Health & Happiness presentation on May 8.
More than 500 runners and walkers participated in the 8th Annual Run, Roll or Stroll. 8 | Jewish News | June 11, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org
early 60 years after leaving Ohef Sholom Temple, Temple Sinai returned, merging the two congregations during a multi-faceted day of ceremony, service and celebration on Sunday, June 3. The morning began in Portsmouth at Temple Sinai. In noting that rabbinic literature “is relatively silent regarding the closing of a house of worship,” Rabbi
Arthur Steinberg said, “where such commentary does exist, the message wastes no words. The building is unimportant. Of sole significance is the congregation gathered within the walls of the building. Their devotion to the precepts of their faith and, therefore, their behavior once outside its walls, is all that counts.” Michael Blachman and Richard Rivin, sons of founding members and past presidents themselves, carried the cong regation’s torahs out of the sanctuary and then began a policeescorted trip to their new home on Stockley Gardens in Ghent. Ramps to the Interstate were closed for the procession, which included a bus filled with congregants, as well as many other vehicles. Standing on the front steps of Ohef Sholom, waiting for Temple Sinai’s arrival, were members of their new congregational family. Before the torahs were carried under a chupah into the building, Marty Einhorn sounded the shofar for all of Stockley Gardens to hear (and there were plenty of neighbors watching). As the torahs, the chupah, Rabbi Steinberg and Rabbi Rosalin Mandelberg and Cantor Wally SchachetBriskin entered the building, all assembled sang Shalom Aleichem and followed. The group proceeded through the sanctuary and into the chapel, which quickly filled beyond capacity. In a brief service, the torahs were placed in the ark, the new members were welcomed to Ohef Sholom
and the chapel was dedicated as the Sinai Chapel. Bonnie Kerner, Temple Sinai president, said “the founders, board of directors and congregation of Temple Sinai are gratified that the Sinai Chapel will always be a reminder of, and a tribute to, the beautiful congregation created in 1953, and nurtured for the past 32 years by Rabbi Steinberg. Clockwise from top: Cantor Wally SchachetBriskin and Rabbi Rosalin Mandelberg lead the Motzi; Cantor Wally leads the procession into the Sinai Chapel; Bonnie Kerner, Temple Sinai president and Ed Kramer, Ohef Sholom Temple president; the congregation arrives in the chapel; motorcycles ready for the procession; Rick Rivin and Michael Blachman carry torahs out of Temple Sinai; approaching the steps of Ohef Sholom.
“As I look at the Rivins, Blachmans, and Brenners and think of the others, who essentially founded Temple Sinai, I feel we have delivered their creation into a safe and successful future. We should all be proud.” During the luncheon reception, the mood was lively with a sense of history in the air as members met, and, in many cases, visited as old friends. Photography by Steve Budman.
Joe Albert, Brad Lerner, Matt Mancoll, Gary Bartel and Reza Hashampour.
jewishnewsva.org | June 11, 2012 | Jewish News | 9
JFS holds reception to thank major donors
ewish Family Service of Tidewater hosted a Major Donor Reception on Thursday, May 10 at the Simon Family JCC to thank its donors for their support and generosity during the past year. Community leaders convened for a short program led by Betty Ann Levin, JFS executive director and Philip Rovner, president and CEO of the Tidewater Jewish Foundation. Miriam Seeherman also read a poignant letter of thanks from one of JFS’ home health clients.
Vice-President Fund-Raising–Paula K. Levy, Treasurer–Harriett Eluto, Recording Secretary–Dana Patish, Corresponding Secretary–Gloria Polay and Social Secretary– Barbara Pributsky. Pansy Perlman, a past president of the Auxiliary performed the installation. The Auxiliary raises funds for residents of The Home through Gift Shop sales, challah sales and a Phantom Donor. Funds are used for all the little “extras” that make The Home more homelike, including dining room flowers, newspapers and the popular bingo money. For information on joining the Auxiliary, call The Home at 420-2512.
“We wanted to take the opportunity to show our appreciation to our donors and supporters,” says Betty Ann Levin. “Without their support, JFS wouldn’t be able to meet our community’s needs and provide the services we offer at their current level.” In addition to the program, guests socialized, enjoyed beverages and hors d’oeuvres and learned more about the current programs and projects of Jewish Family Service of Tidewater. New officers of the Auxiliary of The Berger-Goldrich Home: Marlene Rossen, Ruth Rothman, Paula K. Levy, Gloria Polay, Barbara Pributsky, Harriett Eluto, Joan Goodstein and Pansy Perlman.
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he Auxiliary of The Berger-Goldrich Home held its Annual Spring Luncheon and Installation at The Home on Thursday, May 17. Following hors d’oeuvres in the lobby, the guests adjourned to the Pincus Paul Social Hall for lunch and the program. Introductory remarks were made by outgoing president, Ruth Rothman who was ending her five-year term as the leader of the Auxiliary. David Abraham, executive vice president of Beth Sholom Village gave a report on the State of The Village and thanked the Auxiliary for all of the good works they do, as well as all of the financial support they provide. After lunch prepared by the Village Caterers under the direction of Dan Hahn, executive chef, and supervised by Stan Riddick, director of Dietary Services, guests were treated to musical selections by The Dreams Band. The last order of the day was the installation of the new board. The following were installed as officers: Co-Presidents–Glenda Greenhouse and Marlene Rossen, VicePresident Membership–Barbara Abraham,
Jackie Richels, luncheon co-chair and Elsie Hirsch.
Beth Sholom Village is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
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jewishnewsva.org | June 11, 2012 | Jewish News | 11
Sotheby’s to auction off JTA-Albert Einstein letters
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NEW YORK (JTA)—Albert Einstein stepped forward several times in the 1930s and 1940s to help raise money for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Now, more than half a century later, the international Jewish news service known these days as JTA is hoping the father of quantum physics can come through again. On June 15, Sotheby’s will auction off a recently discovered signed correspondence between Einstein and JTA founder Jacob Landau dealing with the proper relationship between scientists and governments. In one of the letters, from January 1947, Landau wanted to know Einstein’s opinion on the recent pronouncement by Norbert Wiener, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, that scientists should not aid governmentfunded military projects. Writing back—in German—to Landau, Einstein argued that “non-cooperation in military matters should be a vital part of the moral code of basic scientists.” He
also called on public entities to support scientific research without interference and warned that scientific process driven by practical aims instead of a lust for knowledge ultimately would stagnate. “The correspondence between Einstein and Landau is a particularly important one,” says Selby Kiffer, international senior specialist at Sotheby’s. “To have the perspective of Einstein on such a sensitive issue just after World War II is extraordinary.” Sotheby’s Fine Books and Manuscripts auction on June 15 also will include other Einstein material, correspondence involving U.S. presidents and Civil War-era documents. The Einstein letters were discovered in a yellowing folder earlier this year by a part-time JTA staffer sorting through files old files. On top of the heavy talk about science and public policy, the correspondence also chronicles the futile efforts to arrange for a meeting between Einstein and a visiting Jewish soccer team from Palestine. It appears that the soccer team was too busy to make it down to Princeton.
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In addition to shining a light on Einstein’s views on still-relevant public policy issues, the upcoming Sotheby’s auction also brings the relationship between the Nobel laureate and JTA full circle. The genesis of the relationship between Einstein and Landau is unclear, but evidence attesting to their friendship is extensive. Notably, Einstein served as godfather to Landau’s son, who was named—not coincidentally—Albert. Whatever the origins of their relationship, Einstein advocated and raised money for JTA on numerous occasions, particularly as Germany was being transformed by Nazi rule. “It is very important,” Einstein said in 1933, “to have an organization which can give to the world facts about the difficulties of Jewish life all over the globe.” Fifteen years later, in an appeal for support, Einstein insisted that the “Jewish Telegraphic Agency performs functions vital to [the] entire Jewish community” and its mission was “of greatest importance to all Jewry.” One of his first calls for support of JTA came in 1934, when Einstein served as the guest of honor at a fundraising luncheon to help pay for the news agency’s new linotype machine. Einstein was the star attraction at a media tour of the new equipment. In later years, he would make additional fundraising pitches on behalf of JTA. Fast forward to 2012, and once again JTA is depending on the power of Einstein’s prestige to help fund its technology upgrades: The proceeds from the sale of the letters—the catalogue for the auction values the correspondence at between $30,000 and $50,000—are expected to help JTA fund the redesign of its website. “Albert Einstein conceived of a universe where time and space were relative, but saw the value of JTA and the need to support it as constants,” says Ami Eden, CEO and editor in chief of JTA. “Who are we to argue with Einstein?”
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Susan and Jon Becker Create a Jewish Legacy
by Jonathan Marten
itting down for a conversation in the beautiful Ghent home of Susan and Jon Becker, the comfort, ease and unity of their partnership is immediately apparent. They demonstrate the kind of quiet understanding, empathy and humor that can only come from years of shared intimacy, as well as having survived some of the difficulties life throws at everyone, coming out stronger, and even more motiSusan and Jon Becker vated than before. In the Becker’s case, this is particularly evident. In 1999, Jon was forced to retire adds Jon. The Beckers set up a fund with from his successful law practice when struck the Tidewater Jewish Foundation to cover by a catastrophic illness. Jon says, “It worked “a lot of things you wouldn’t otherwise be out in lots of ways in that, when I retired, it able to reach.” Among the most important gave me time to really do something things to the Beckers are ensuring I had always wanted to do—I the future of Chabad, the Hebrew Tzedakah started learning.” Academy of Tidewater and The Beckers had long Jewish Family Service. doesn’t really been drawn to a deeper “Jewish Family Service mean ‘charity.’ study and participation in has been extraordinary to Judaism and the Jewish Jon when he needed them,” It means, doing community. Their involvesays Susan. “They’re always the right thing. ment with Rabbi Aron there for you. They’re wonMargolin and Chabad It means doing what derful!” Jon is now doing began 32 years ago, with physical therapy five days a you’re supposed their move to Virginia Beach. week, continuing his studies They were also long-time and staying in constant touch to do. members of Congregation with his four daughters and Beth El and B’nai Israel. Even three granddaughters, Leora, Tova so, the desire to become more intiand Dalia. mately involved became even more focused Susan has become a Lion of Judah, as their four daughters, Lisa, Amy, Katie making her commitment to the Jewish and Jennifer, made their way through the community even stronger. But it’s Jon who Hebrew Academy of Tidewater. sums up their feelings and philosophy for Doing for the Jewish community, is a the couple. need that drives both of them. While on “God’s been really good to us. And the Women’s Cabinet, Susan learned and this community’s been really good to us. heard about all the needs of Jews all over I was fortunate—I had a good practice. the world. “I just realized I needed to step And I really do believe that we lose sight it up. And I could, so I did. It’s more of a if we think we’re the reason we came upon commitment than I might have thought I this money. I really believe that HaShem would ever make, but when I hear of Jews decides, okay, I’m gonna trust you with not eating, not having food on their plate, this much of it, and it’s now your obligaand so many other needs, it’s only right to tion to share it—to pass it on. Tzedakah become more involved.“ doesn’t really mean ‘charity.’ It means, “Nowadays, it’s much easier to give than doing the right thing. It means doing what it used to be. When we moved here, there you’re supposed to do. I believe we’ve been wasn’t an internet and there wasn’t the fortunate and therefore have an absolute ability to know about soup kitchens and obligation to help those who haven’t been organizations in Israel and Eastern Europe,” as fortunate.”
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jewishnewsva.org | June 11, 2012 | Jewish News | 13
Beth Sholom Village celebrates National Nursing Home Week
What makes the Yeshivas Aish Kodesh different
by Dr. Brian Brennan, English teacher, Talmudical Academy of Norfolk
he nursing and activity staffs at Beth Sholom Village developed a week of special events that brought smiles to everyone’s faces—staff, visitors and residents—to celebrate National Nursing Home Week, May 14–18. A few of the highlights include:
May 14 — D ress-Up Day, Beach and Hawaiian attire; beach crafts with residents; staff Olympics. May 15 —Pick a friend and dress like twins! Family Feud and social with residents.
Staff participating in Nursing Home Olympics.
May 16 — C razy Hair/Hat Day, Dancing with the Stars—staff and residents. May 17 —Tacky Attire Day plus Musical Chairs (and no one got hurt!) May 18 — D ress like a cartoon, superhero or storybook character. Talent show and staff lunch. Staff members Gloria Mack, Rebecca Moralez, Heather Thomas, Allison Whiteman, Jonie Culpepper and Larissa McLaren were instrumental in making sure everyone had a great time. Beth Sholom Village is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
Larissa McLaren and Jolene Laccone celebrate Twins Day.
David Abraham and staff performing for “Dancing with the Stars.”
hen friends from outside the community ask me what is different about teaching at an Orthodox Jewish boys’ high school, usually they are most curious about the religious aspects of the school. As a general studies teacher, I could easily answer that I don’t teach in the Judaic studies portion of the school, and therefore that religion has little to do with what I teach. But the fact is that at the Yeshivas Aish Kodesh, the religious mission of the school illuminates and shapes all we do, even in general studies. My students spend large portions of their day studying and practicing their faith. This may not seem unusual, or even exceptional, but it is. In my experience, students tend to focus their energies on two things. First, they participate in activities that will help gain admission to college. They work at their grades, join clubs, or run for student government. Second, and not a distant second, they like to do things that are fun:
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NEW YORK (JTA)—U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg were among the dignitaries who marched in the annual Celebrate Israel Parade in the Big Apple on Sunday, June 3. They joined tens of thousands of marchers who paraded up Fifth Avenue under blue, sunny skies and amid a sea of blue-and-white Israeli flags. The parade, now in its 48th year, is America’s biggest annual show of support for Israel by the numbers. Marchers included Jewish day school contingents, the Chai Riders motorcycle club, non-Jewish marching bands, and a contingent from Israel Guide Dogs for the Blind, among some 200 organizations. Israeli consuls and some government officials also marched. The theme of this year’s parade was “Israel Branches Out.” The parade was preceded by a four-mile Celebrate Israel run through Central Park.
sports and other extracurricular activities. I taught for several years in Baltimore and my students there raised their devotion to lacrosse to a near religious fervor. At the Yeshiva, the students still work hard with college in mind and play sports, but their daily focus is on their Torah study. The students at the Yeshivas Aish Kodesh do not do their study away from the world. They do not lead lives of isolation. Their study and worship takes place in the world and, specifically, in our community. Torah study not only requires support from the community at large, it requires active engagement on the parts of both the students and the students and the community. The relationship between “town and gown,” which in many places are separate and at times contentious, is more harmonious. The community appreciates what the students, and their study, are all about. At the Yeshivas Aish Kodesh we see this in the fact that so many people who do not have sons at the yeshiva know the students. When I attend events in the community, I am surprised and delighted by how many
people know the yeshiva students, even those who have come from away. The yeshiva also receives incredible support from community organizations such as the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. Over the years, the yeshiva has received several grants that provided new textbooks and new technology to help our teaching. This year, one of those grants provided a Smartboard that will greatly assist in the teaching of math and science. The Federation also organizes conferences and events for teachers that help further our development as teachers in a religious school. The community, which is central to the school, and which the mission of the school seems to mandate, makes the Yeshivas Aish Kodesh different from other schools at which I have taught. I feel more a part of the community here, and therefore feel a greater responsibility to my work in this community, but also a greater sense of respect for the community. I take great pride in teaching at the Yeshivas Aish Kodesh. Yeshivas Aish Kodesh is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
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jewishnewsva.org | June 11, 2012 | Jewish News | 15
Performing Arts at the J receives gift from lover of music, Leah Wohl* by Leslie Shroyer and Ina Friedman
any years before Leah Wohl passed away she requested that Ina and Moss Friedman become stewards of her estate. In addition to other organizations within the Jewish community, the Friedmans chose to sponsor the Performing Arts at the J for the next three years in her name. Performing Arts at the J will replace the Main Event Series. Leah Wohl Retired as a music teacher in the Norfolk public school system when Beth Sholom Home opened, Wohl became a weekly volunteer, playing the piano and creating the Monday and Wednesday sing-along programs. “Leah was amazing,” says Leslie Legum, director of community relations at Beth Sholom Home. “She had a lot of energy and she really knew her music. If you wanted to hear something in a different key, she just moved her hands over the keys with such ease…and there it was.” Several years later, Ina Friedman’s mother became a resident of Beth Sholom. While he visited his ailing wife, Friedman’s father, Dolph Sandler, became a regular participant in the Monday and Wednesday ‘happenings.’ It was through the sing-alongs that Sandler got to know Wohl and after his wife died, the two became a couple. It’s summer 1944 and a touring variety show is entertaining the troops on the new battleship. Dancers, singers, a fun emcee and a band belting out Swing Era tunes –
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“They had 10 wonderful years together,” says Friedman “and they made every day count, eating in restaurants, going to performances from the New Spirit to the Opera, and enjoying all that they could do. Everyone should have their last years of life be like that.” In 1997, Dolph Sandler passed away, and by then, the Friedmans had a strong and close relationship with Wohl, and kept a watchful eye on her and her needs through her healthy years, as well as through her years of declining health. “Leah was fiercely independent, spunky, an astute judge of character, and game for anything” says Friedman. “A sushi dinner was a great outing for our tiny, 90-year-old Leah.” Wohl’s life-long mission was to bring the pleasure of her music to her audiences, be they her public school students or her Beth Sholom residents. The Friedmans say they feel confident that she would feel good about having the community come together for the shared pleasure of live musical performances at the Simon Family JCC. Leah Wohl died a year ago at age 98. She was a selfless woman who enjoyed enriching the lives of others and this gift is a fitting one by which to remember her. *of blessed memory. The Simon Family JCC is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
Temple Israel honors experienced citizens by Jodie Rafalowitz
elebrating the lives and accomplishments of the wisest sector, the most senior of citizens took place at Temple Israel on Saturday, May 5. Although the synagogue’s seniors are always respected, appreciated and cherished, there’s never any harm in reminding everyone of that, which is why Temple Israel held a special Shabbat service to honor those in the congregation who have reached a very special milestone. As Rabbi Michael Panitz says, “The ‘Second Bar Mitzvah’—13 years plus 70 additional years of living—is a Jewish tradition that is ripe for renewal. It is fitting and good to honor these wonderful ‘experienced citizens,’ to celebrate their life accomplishments and to give our younger citizens the benefit of knowing them.” In tribute to their vibrant and rich spirit, many of Temple Israel’s most seasoned veterans participated in or led services as their younger, less experienced fellow congregants watched with pride, respect, admiration and
perhaps even a bit of awe. A warm, heartfelt moment came when all of the congregants in attendance who had reached the age of the second bar mitzvah received a special blessing from Rabbi Panitz. Milcah Wade, a member of Temple Israel and social worker who has worked with seniors for more than 30 years, delivered a powerful sermon. She stressed that there are great qualities associated with being an “experienced citizen”—beauty, strength, wisdom, tenacity and so much more. “Nature herself teaches us that age demands dignity and honor. The older the redwoods, the more majestic. The older wines and cheeses are, the more they are praised and honored for taste. Should it not hold true that the older a man and woman, the more they are to be appreciated by others?” asked Wade. Wade stressed how the younger generation does a disservice to themselves by not spending more time with seniors, learning from them, enjoying their company and soaking up their wisdom.
The Faiths of Good Neighbors by Rabbi Michael Panitz
ne of the blessings of American life is that our society is structured to promote good relations among people of faith. It was not always thus. There was a time when the various denominations were often in notso-splendid isolation, and even now, some denominations have only limited energy for conversations with “the outside world.” But the norm in America is that, while people may divide along conservative versus liberal lines, they are quick to find common cause with members of other faith communities who share their basic political and social orientations. For the past half dozen years, along with several neighboring congregations, Christian and Muslim, Temple Israel has co-sponsored an “interfaith academy.” The format is a series of friendly and nonproselytizing evening gatherings, with the sponsoring congregations taking turns as hosts. One or two clergy make opening presentations, and the bulk of each evening is spent in small-group discussion, with selected clergy and religious leaders helping to facilitate these conversations. Before concluding, the group reconvenes and discusses as a whole the most interesting points that have emerged from each of the more intimate conversations. This year, the series is entitled The Sacred Space of Word, Time and Journey. The topics included in this series are designed to help each person gain an appreciation
of the emotional quality of the other’s religious life. What does it feel like to be a Jew, Christian, Muslim, at times of spiritual engagement? The conversations are free and open to the public. Refreshments are served. Consider attending all four of the conversations, although people are certainly welcome to come to any of them individually. All of the conversations are scheduled for 7:30 pm, concluding by 9pm. • Monday, June 18 Freemason St. Baptist Church “Pilgrimage” • Wednesday, June 20 Temple Israel “Sacred Texts—Listening to God” • Monday, June 25 St. Paul’s Episcopal Church “Sabbath, Lord’s Day, Jumuah” • Wednesday, June 27 Masjid William Salaam “Prayer Texts—Responding to God” The partnership has grown over the years. This year, two relatively recent arrivals in the neighborhood will be joining the veteran presenters, Imam Vernon Fareed, Rev. Scott Hennessy, Pastor Steve Jolly, Rev. Fred McCall and Rabbi Michael Panitz: Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz, of Beth El Congregation, and Pastor Aaron Brittain, of Talbot Park Baptist Church. The Interfaith Academy represents a spiritual avenue to understanding and connecting with neighbors in faith.
The Jewish Museum & Conference Center presents the 4th annual Wonderful Wednesdays Summer Music Series Joann Falletta and Friends Wednesday, June 13, 7:30pm JoAnn Falletta, Debra Wendells Cross, and Robert Alemany, have performed and recorded together and promise to bring an exciting evening of wonderful music. Falletta (guitar), Cross (flute), and Alemany (clarinet) have captivated audiences individually and together will surely electrify the evening.
Dora Marshall Mullins Wednesday, July 18, 7:30pm The Sensational Silver Screen Wednesday, Aug. 15, 7:30pm The Alborada Piano Trio Wednesday, Aug. 29, 7:30pm
Tickets are $20 each performance or $75 for entire series. Mail Checks to: Jewish Museum & Cultural Center, P.O. Box 7962, Portsmouth, VA 23707. Charge by phone or for more information: 391-9266.
Payday Payroll Services wins Monarch Bank’s $50,000 ‘Top Flight’ Prize
Eric and Danny Kline.
“Hampton Roads has spoken and selected this year’s $50,000 winner,” Brad E. Schwartz, CEO of Monarch Bank, said in announcing Payday Payroll Services as the winner of its second annual communitywide contest. “Monarch Bank developed this award program to recognize top performing businesses, and we had great response in year two of our ‘Top Flight’ contest.” Monarch’s contest received 53 applications, which were narrowed to three semifinalists, Payday Payroll, SteelMaster Buildings, and TASTE. The semifinalists were chosen by an independent panel of judges that considered growth in both revenue and full-time staff employed over the company’s three most recent completed fiscal years, descriptive narrative on how the prize package will be implemented; and community service. The community cast 2,739 unique votes through a text-to-vote and online MonarchBank.com poll April 1–30. Payday’s winnings include $10,000 cash from Monarch Bank; a professional business service package valued at $10,000 from accounting, tax and advisory firm Cherry, Bekaert & Holland, L.L.P.; a professional business package valued at $10,000 from Cox Business Communications; an advertising package, including the creation of a 30-second commercial and cable airtime, valued at $10,000 from Cox Cable Media; and an advertising contract with
Pilot Media for one year valued at $10,000. The law firm of Vandeventer Black also sponsored the award. Led by founder/CEO Andy Kline, Payday is a payroll and human resources services firm that works with nationally known brands, as well as community nonprofits and everything in between. The company has been a constant community partner, working with The Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia, Ohef Sholom Temple, Beth Sholom Village, Tidewater Jewish Foundation, Physicians for Peace, the NEST program and United Way. Payday created the “Power of ONE” fundraising campaign to help United Way reach new partners through a payroll deduction program with Payday clients. Payday Payroll Services says it hopes to extend its “Locals should use locals” philosophy and encourage Tidewater companies to do business with each other. Andy, and his wife Esther Kline have immersed themselves in community service, volunteering and supporting countless organizations in Tidewater, as well as in remote areas such as villages in Nicaragua. “Andy Kline is a gregarious, community minded individual interested in doing good,” says Philip S. Rovner, president of Tidewater Jewish Foundation. “He has done well in his business and enjoys the opportunity to give back to the community.” Founded in 1985 in Virginia Beach, Payday also has offices in Florida.
jewishnewsva.org | June 11, 2012 | Jewish News | 17
Director of Development — Simon Family Jewish Community Center Summary of primary duties and responsibilities Responsible for developing a comprehensive fundraising plan that integrates myriad of campaigns, events and projects to successfully garner the funding needs of the Simon Family JCC. Plans shall also include implementation and evaluation plans outlining specific goals and objectives and outcomes. Director of Development is responsible for staffing and working closely with JCC leadership to recruit and train volunteers for development activities. Directly supervise the JCC Development Associate. In conjunction with the marketing team, candidate shall be responsible for the development of an integrated marketing plan in support of and to further the success of development activities. Position summary • Develops and establishes fund development plan and goals • Develops implementation and evaluation plans • Directs, manages and is responsible for outcomes of all development efforts including campaigns, events and special projects including but not limited to: • Spring annual campaign • Big Ticket Raffle • Patron of the Arts • Lee and Bernard Jaffe* Family Book Festival • The Virginia Festival of Jewish Film • Performing Arts at the J • Israel Festival • Tribute Program • Gymnasium Banner Program • Presidents’ Cup Golf Tournament (provides assistance) • Identifies potential donors and foundations and corporate funders • Identifies potential grant opportunities and supervises grant writing and reporting • Develops and implements corporate support program • Cultivates, solicits and stewards campaign donors, event sponsors, and general corporate support
• Integrates marketing efforts in support of development goals • With JCC leadership recruits, trains and supervises volunteer fundraisers • Supervises development associate • Prepares reports for development committee and JCC Board of Directors Education/Experience: Bachelor’s Degree and at least five (5) years’ experience or a combination of education and experience that demonstrates qualification for the position. Essential Skills: • Self-Motivated and goal oriented. • Excellent analytic, organizational and communication skills • Proven planning/implementation skills • Strong team contributor and leadership skills • Ability to handle multiple tasks • Demonstrated initiative and commitment to achieving and exceeding results • Ability to develop and maintain strong working relationships • Presents a professional, positive image that reflects well on the organization • Ability to make presentations to a variety of audiences using visual aids, slide shows, and other media • Demonstrative ability to create and articulate a vision • Ability to develop leadership skills in others, inspire and build commitment in others, think and act strategically, and work effectively in and with a group The Marilyn and Marvin Simon Family Jewish Community Center is firmly committed to a policy of equal employment opportunity for all qualified persons without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, genetic information, non-disqualifying disability or military status.
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June 11, M o nd ay BI N A ’ s 5 t h A n n i v e r s a r y C e l e b r a t i o n D e s s e r t R e c e p t i o n. 7– 9 p m. V i n t a g e K i t c h e n , 9 9 9 W a t e r s i d e D r., N o r f o l k . $ 18 p e r p e r s o n . 6 2 7‑ B I N A . Simon Family JCC Golf Tournament . C a ll 3 21- 2 3 2 7.
June 12, Tue s d ay Jewish Family Service Annual Meeting . S a n d l e r F a m il y C a m p u s. 7p m. C a ll 3 21- 2 2 2 2. June 13, W ed ne s d ay The Simon Family JCC’s Biennial m e e t i n g a t t h e S a n d l e r F a m il y C a m p u s b e g i n n i n g a t 6 p m w i t h h o r s d ’o e u v r e s f o ll o w e d b y t h e m e e t i n g. S a n d r a P o r t e r L e o n, o u t g o i n g J C C p r e si d e n t w ill b e h o n o r e d, a n d Te r r i S a r f a n, i n c o m i n g p r e si d e n t , w ill b e i n d u c t e d. Aw a r d s a n d r e c o g n i t i o n s w ill b e a n n o u n c e d. To R S V P, c a ll 3 21- 2 3 0 3.
ACHIEVEMENT Max Chucker on his graduation from Florida State University with a degree in music theatre and his casting as Arab in the National Tour of West Side Story which begins in the fall, 2012. He will play the Fiddler in Fiddler on the Roof in Wichita, Kansas this summer. Rubin (Ruby) Kravitz on the full page coverage of his career in the ASTM Standardization News. ASTM (the American Society for Testing and Materials) is globally recognized as the leader in the development and delivery of international standards.
Kravitz has joined such figures as Earl S. Tupper (creator of Tupperware) and Leo Baekeland (inventor of Bakelite) in the People Section of the Syracuse University Plastics Collection. The Syracuse collection, considered the largest university based resource on the history of plastics, has benefited greatly from the addition of the National Plastics Center and Museum collection, founded by Kravitz in 1976. Eden Bliss Perry upon her graduation from the Tisch School of arts at NYU. Commencement exercises were held at Yankee Stadium before an audience of more than 50,000. Two days later, The Tisch School of Arts held additional exercises at Radio City Music Hall. Eden had previously
graduated from the Idyllwild Art Academy in Idyllwild, Calif. Eden is the daughter of Boden Perry of Providence, R.I. and Lundi Frank Perry of Mevassert, Israel, both, previously of Virginia Beach. Bette and Hy Cohen of Virginia Beach are the extremely proud grandparents. Rabbi Sam Rose and Rabbi Israel Zoberman following Rabbi Rose’s ordination at the Historic Plum Street Temple in Cincinnati, Ohio on June 2, 2012. Rabbi Rose is the first “home-grown” rabbi of
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Mazel Tov submissions should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with Mazel Tov in the subject line. Achievements, B’nai Mitzvot, births, engagements and weddings are appropriate simchas to announce. Photos must be at least 300k. Include a daytime phone for questions. There is no fee.
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Frank Zelenka on his promotion to Captain, USNR. He is married to Amy and the father of Adam and recent HAT graduate Sam.
Jewish Museum and Cultural Center’s 4th annual Wonderful Wednesdays Summer Music Series w i t h J o a n n F a ll e t t a a n d F r i e n d s. 7: 3 0 p m. $ 2 0. 3 91- 9 2 6 6.
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Congregation Beth Chaverim. Rabbi Zoberman was ordained at Plum Street Temple 38 years ago. Rabbi Rose accepted a rabbinic position at Congregation Beth Israel in Austin, Texas.
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Jewish Women’s Salon closes its “Live Season” and gears up for on-line summer discussions by Laine Rutherford and Amy Zelenka
he Jewish Women’s Salon closed its “live season” with the second in a two-part showing of the award-winning documentary film Miss Representation. The event, held on Sunday morning, May 20 at the Sandler Family Campus, again produced a good deal of rain, but also a wonderful gathering of bright Jewish women to share the viewing experience and to discuss the issues raised in the film. Miss Representation documents the often unfair ways in which women are treated in the workplace, portrayed in the mainstream media, and diminished in the political arena. It illustrates the dangerous patterns of behavior developed among young girls and boys, which can ultimately perpetuate the disparities between the sexes. Featuring amazing women who span the professional and political gamut—from Condoleezza Rice to Jane Fonda—the film unites its audiences by inspiring action to right the wrongs taking place today. It was shocking to learn that the U.S. ranks 90th
in the world (behind countries like Iran and Afghanistan) in terms of the number and percentage of women in Congress. From Hollywood to Washington to Wall Street, women are underrepresented in power positions, and the trend, unfortunately, does not appear to be improving. The film offers a number of resources for women to tap into, to take action and try to make a difference. The discussion following the film ranged from popular teen reading lists to speakers who teach that one person has the power to affect major change in the world. Some emphasized the importance of women getting into politics and leadership positions. Others talked about women learning to build each other up rather than tearing each other down. Lively discussion surrounded the issue of women mentoring one another. The discussion was fast-moving and energetic, and most in the audience participated—adding to the richness of the experience. Salon participant Eilene Rosenblum shared her experience of being the first woman television executive in the South,
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20 | Jewish News | June 11, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org
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when she moved here years ago to head up WHRO TV. “… and only because it was public television was I able to achieve that position,” she said. “Because it was a PBS station, they had a policy of having equal numbers of men and women directors.” Rosenblum went on to say (of the film): Janet Mercadante, Jewish Women’s Salon co-chair with her daughter Samantha. “I was glad to see on the Patron’s List at the end of the movie that there were a lot of Jewish names. The Jewish people are always on the forefront of doing the right thing.” “This is not about being antimen,” says Salon co-chair Janet Mercadante. “This is about keeping doors open with women and looking JoAnn Dervay, Janet Mercadante, Samantha Mercadante, Miriam Seeherman, Janet Peck, and Mindy Schwartz-Katz. at things in our culture that are keeping these doors closed.” is a huge statement. Bring the messages Melissa Taylor, who came with her from this film, and the stories and wisdom mother and her daughters to both parts of shared here, back to your families, and the the film had this to say: “I am so glad we men in your lives.” could all see this, but especially so for my The conversation continues on the daughters. It instills and reinforces a sense Jewish Women’s Salon online forum. In of pride in who they are and assures them the coming months, online discussions that their sex is not a limitation to what will include current contemporary issues, they can be. I am glad we could all be taken from articles printed in the compelamong this group full of mentors.” ling Hadassah Brandeis Institute’s 614 eZine Salon co-chair Janet Peck remarked online magazine and other sources. Women that “there are little things that we can in the community and beyond are invited demonstrate to our sons (and daughters) to participate; visit www.jewishwomenssaso that they will not see things as tradition- lon.org to find out more and to become a ally men’s or women’s chores. We need to part of the conversation. remember that we—parents—are the most The Jewish Women’s Salon is planning important influence in our children’s lives.” future community events. For more inforDanielle Leibovici, Salon co-chair, mation, contact Amy Zelenka at 965-6139, asked the audience to “just imagine what email@example.com. we, as Jewish women, are capable of. The A community-building initiaJewish Women’s Salon is a unique program tive of the United Jewish Federation of and we want to have everyone come back Tidewater, Jewish Women’s Salon programs together. We want this conversation to are free and open to all women in the continue, to connect on a personal level Jewish community, with no solicitation or and to have this group continue to get gift requirement to participate. stronger and stronger. You being here
obituaries Donald R. Higgins Norfolk—Donald Higgins, 60, longtime social worker, residing in Ghent in Norfolk, died on Monday, May 28, 2012. Donald Ray Higgins was born to the late Ruth Ann Higgins and Harold Bailey Higgins in Easton, Md. He attended Virginia Commonwealth University. Following graduation, he worked for Virginia Beach Social Services and then attended Norfolk State University where he received a Master’s degree in Social Work. Later he became a licensed clinical social worker and worked at Family Services and in private practice at Lakeside Psychological. Most recently he was employed at Portsmouth Naval Hospital working at their Norfolk Clinic. On Oct. 12, 1980, Don married Debra Goldstein in New York and they lived happily together in Norfolk for the last 32 years. Don was preceded in death by his mother, Ruth; father, Harold, and sister, Donna Gayle Higgins. Surviving are Don’s loving wife, Debra Goldstein-Higgins, daughter, son-inlaw and granddaughter Jennifer, Drew and Maya Gebler and daughter Rebecca Higgins; his brother and sister-in-law Larry Higgins and Gwen Casey-Higgins of Berryville, Va., and niece Jessica Higgins of Gaithersburg, Md. Steadfast in his love and devotion to his beloved wife, Debra Goldstein-Higgins, his children and granddaughter, and his community of friends and fellow social workers, Don was loved by all who knew and cared for him. He will be missed by all. Funeral services were held at H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts and officiated by Rabbi Rosalin Mandelberg and Cantor Wally Schachet-Briskin. The family requests donations to Don’s favorite charities, the Food Bank of Southeastern Virginia, Multiple Sclerosis
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Society or to Military Relief. Online condolences may be sent to hdoliver.com. Harry Kreitzer Virginia Beach—Harry Kreitzer, 95, passed away on May 28, 2012. He was a 32nd degree mason and a former president of Temple Israel in Staunton, Va. Left to cherish his memory are his son Larry (Elaine), grandchildren; Angela Holcombe, Jennifer Kreitzer, Rebecca Smith (Oren), Jennifer Holcombe (Craig), Mitchell Lebow (Summer), and great grandchildren; Jared Holcombe, Mckenzie Holcombe, �KC� Lebow. He is preceded in death by his parents; Abraham and Rose Kreitzer, His wife of 62 years; Selma Kreitzer and his sister; Rae Taitz. A graveside service was held in Woodlawn Memorial Gardens with Rabbi Michael Panitz officiating. The family asks for donations to be sent to an organization of one’s choice. Condolences may be expressed to the family at www.altmeyer.com.
He and writing partner Hal Goldman joined the staff of Jack Benny’s radio and TV program in 1950 and stayed with him for more than two decades, during which they shared two Emmy Awards. The New York Times described Gordon, was born in Akron, Ohio, and moved with his family to the Bronx as a child, as “a high-strung, fast-talking gag writer from the Bronx who never finished high school.” Benny’s manager, Irving Fein, called Gordon “a quick little fellow, a very good one-liner man,” in a 1998 interview. He received seven other Emmy nominations and wrote for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, The Flip Wilson Show, The Carol Burnett Show, That’s My Mama, Three’s Company and other shows. (JTA)
Al Gordon, Emmy-winning comedy writer, 89 Al Gordon, who parlayed a chance wartime meeting with an entertainment troupe into an Emmy-winning career as a writer for Jack Benny, the Smothers Brothers and many others, died May 23 at 89. As told to the L.A. Times by his son, Neil, Gordon was in the Air Force on a small island in the Azores during World War II when a plane carrying an army entertainment unit landed there with engine trouble. He kibitzed with the troupe’s writers as they worked on jokes for an upcoming show while waiting for repairs. After the war, one of the writers remembered him and asked him to join them in Hollywood.
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Approved by all area Rabbis and Chevrah Kadisha jewishnewsva.org | June 11, 2012 | Jewish News | 21
Mill-End Carpet Shops
face to face
Armond Jay Caplan starts a new century
by Karen Lombart
rmond Caplan arrives each morning at the BB&T building in downtown Norfolk from his home at the Beth Sholom Terrace ready to put in a good day’s work. He mentions with a smile that someday he might decide to retire, but not just yet! Approaching his 100th birthday, June 22, 2012, he still loves the intrigue of making a business deal and brings history, perspective and knowledge to his daily conversations with his partners. A graduate from the College of William and Mary in 1933, Caplan was chosen to be a member of ODK, one of the most prestigious collegiate honor societies in the country. By his own admission, he was “very active in all aspects of campus life.” Recognized for outstanding leadership and academic success, he also became the society’s first Jewish member. This past year he travelled to his alma mater to visit his great grandson who had settled in as a freshman. Asked to lunch with the Dean of Students, the 99-year-old recognized that the dean’s last name was the same as one of his chemistry professor’s. He discovered that she was, in fact, his college professor’s daughter, bridging five generations into one common experience. He also learned that he held the distinction of being the school’s eldest alumni. Although Caplan amassed many premed classes during his undergraduate years and was accepted to Medical College of Virginia, he turned down the offer. During his senior year, he decided not to pursue medicine. Graduating with a B.S. in chemistry, he was only sure about one thing: he wanted to marry Rose Jacobson. Acquainted in Tidewater, they met again in college, when Caplan was an upperclassman, and Rose a freshman. Raised in Portsmouth as a first generation American, and the third child of Lithuanian immigrants, Caplan learned early on that education and hard work were important priorities to his parents. His father, Louis (L.T.), a cigar maker who rolled stogies by hand as his first profession, supported his wife, three sons and three daughters by opening a grocery store in Portsmouth. “As a young boy of 12, I worked after school, as did my siblings. Our house was
attached to the back of the store, so it was easy to complete lessons, work and play. “My father made sure that all six of us went on to college. He always regretted not having a formal education himself,” Caplan says. “I respected my father. He was like my friend. I learned the importance of being generous from his behavior,” Caplan says. Among other activities, his father was president of the synagogue, Chevra T’helim, now the Jewish Museum & Cultural Center. On Oct. 16, 1934, Caplan married Rose in Portsmouth’s Orthodox schul, and then moved to Norfolk. During the throws of the Depression, they opened a lady’s milliner and hosiery store called Raymond’s on Church Street, which later became known as Armond’s. In the clothing business for 20 years, Caplan reveals, “I never really enjoyed retail, but my wife had an artistic flair, and she loved it.” He adds, “Even during her later years, when robbed of her memory by dementia, Rose communicated through her artwork. She remained a wonderful painter.” “She was always the boss,” he smiles with a glint in his eyes. “I treated her that way. Rose raised our first two children as a working woman.” Gloria was born in 1937, Steve in 1943. When Jimmy was born in 1948, she stopped going to the store on a daily basis. During Caplan’s years as a “Church Street merchant,” he became interested in the real estate business. After selling Armond’s, he acquired his real estate license, as well as his license to sell insurance. Caplan’s first sale was a Shoney’s restaurant on Little Creek Road, familiarizing himself with the world of real estate. That next year, he and Al Fleder became partners, working in the field of finance. In 1961, Bernard Jaffe joined the team. Within a short time, the three men began dabbling in real estate development in Virginia Beach. The Virginia BeachNorfolk Expressway (Interstate 264), built in 1967, changed the lifestyle of Tidewater residents. Because there was easy access between Norfolk and the oceanfront, the land between the two cities became prime property. Today, 50 years later, the partnership continues among the three families. Lawrence Fleder and Karen Jaffe work alongside Caplan and his two sons, Jimmy and Steve.
22 | Jewish News | June 11, 2012 | jewishnewsva.org
When Caplan talks of his two original partners, he readily acknowledges, “The three of us were a good match. We truly respected one another. We were able to talk through any disagreements because we were committed to maintaining our relationship. Our bond took precedence over the success of any business transaction.” In describing their work ethic, Caplan emphasizes, “We always felt that a deal was only successful if the customer was willing to enter into another business venture with us. It was important that the outcome be fair.” Numerous lucrative opportunities were left on the table simply because they did not “feel good.” The employees have valued their jobs, several staying with the company for 45 to 50 years. Caplan’s sons believe their father is the most optimistic person they know. In the past five to 10 years, his eyesight has dimmed and his hearing impaired. Yet, he still says with genuine sincerity “Every day is a good day.” Caplan continues to bring humor and laughter into his conversations. He has also weathered through life’s sorrows and still feels he is a “lucky man.” “I lost my two girls,” he says. “My wife Rose passed away in 2006 after 72 years of marriage and my daughter Gloria, when she was 66 years old. As the family’s Patriarch, he has had three children, nine grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren. His oldest grandchild is 52. His oldest great grandchild is 21. This past April, the family celebrated their 106th consecutive Passover Seder. The tradition started in 1906 with his parents, L.T. and Tillie Pruss Caplan, a year after they got married. Each gathering begins with the ritual of lighting the couple’s silver candlesticks. Caplan and his wife Rose took over the Seder in 1965. Today, it is held in the social hall at Congregation Beth El to accommodate the entire family. “My Jewish heritage is very important to me. The privileges that we know as American Jews, we would never see in any other country. We live in a great nation,” he says. Caplan has spent many hours volunteering to insure the survival of his people. He remembers fundraising in 1948 when Israel became a Jewish nation and during its subsequent years when there were emergency drives to raise money for the country’s continued existence. In 1967,
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shortly after the war, he and Rose traveled for the first and only time to Israel with Caplan’s gin group buddies. The couple also found cruising, relaxing. They shared many vacations and happy occasions with their friends from the Gold Band-Unity club. Organized when they were young marrieds, the social group grew to be more than 100 members. In the 70s, Caplan’s true passion surfaced when Congregation Beth El was at a crossroads. Myers Hall needed extensive renovation to make it habitable. Rabbi Reich had left, and there was a “revolving door” of temporary clergy. He, along with others including Tavia Gordon, Arthur Kaplan, Mickey Kramer, Stuart Held, and J. David Barr, raised over a million dollars to restore the synagogue’s integrity. Philanthropic throughout Hampton Roads, he also financially supported many other Jewish institutions. Today, the atriums of Congregation Beth El, the Sandler Family Campus and the Terrace at Beth Sholom Village all bear his family name. As a son, a husband, a father, a grandfather, a great grandfather, a friend, a store owner, a business man, a partner, a volunteer and a philanthropist, Caplan has been fueled by his belief in the power of respect and his uncanny ability to empathsize with others. At 100 years old, he has lived from a time when his father’s grocery store food bundles were delivered by horse and buggy to an age of technology where food is shipped overnight by placing an order on the Internet. To this distinguished, spirited, gentle man, best wishes for a happy and healthy birthday celebration! Mazel Tov!
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nect to them [American Jews] on their social and economic values is needed and relevant,” Ann Toback, the group’s executive director, told JTA. The poll, conducted from April 19 to May 3, otherwise tracks results found in recent Jewish polls: President Obama would draw 59 percent of the Jewish vote, all-but-certain Republican candidate Mitt Romney would garner 27 percent and undecideds are at 14 percent. The numbers don’t differ statistically from a poll last month by the American Jewish Committee in which Obama and Romney scored 61 percent and 28 percent, respectively. Steven M. Cohen, the veteran pollster who worked with the polling firm IPSOS on the Workmen’s Circle survey, said taxes and labor-management relations were the main determinant—as opposed to foreign or social policy—in what attracted a voter to a party. “I did not expect to see the strong results we saw in economic justice,” he said, “and I did not expect to see the
salience of economic justice in determining the presidential vote.” Other results were similar to those in recent polls: A substantial majority, 68 percent, favor gay marriage, and a vast majority, 89 percent, favor making abortion legal in most cases. On foreign policy questions, 58 percent said they agree that the current Israeli government wants peace, while 71 percent said the Palestinian Authority does not want peace and 78 percent agreed that the Palestinians wanted Israel’s destruction. Asked whether Israel should freeze settlement expansion, 40 percent agreed, 22 percent disagreed and 39 percent said they were not sure. The poll of 1,000 American Jews was conducted through the Internet. Respondents were culled from the IPSOS database of more than 1 million Americans who have expressed interest in surveys. The margin of error was 4 percentage points. (JTA)
Judge won’t allow parents to take custody of Nazi-named children A New Jersey couple who gave their children names linked to Nazism cannot have custody of their children, a judge ruled. Heath and Deborah Campbell’s children have been in state custody for the past three years, since a local supermarket refused to print Adolf Hitler Campbell’s full name on a cake for his third birthday. The boy, now 6, and sisters JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell, 5, and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell, 4, remain in state custody, and the state also took custody in November of a newborn boy named Hons, according to UPI. A Superior Court judge in New Jersey decided last week that the couple cannot regain custody of the children. The Campbells plan to appeal the ruling. Heath Campbell told the Star-Ledger newspaper that he would give up his Nazism to regain custody of the children. (JTA)
Obama celebrates Jewish petitioning of government WASHINGTON (JTA)—President Obama celebrated the values of communities petitioning government at a White House reception honoring Jewish American Heritage Month. “We don’t just celebrate all that American Jews have done for our country; we also look toward the future,” he said. “And as we do, I know that those of you in this room, but folks all across this country will continue to help perfect our union, and for that I am extraordinarily grateful.” Obama focused a large portion of his remarks on the 150th anniversary of an order that was issued by Gen. Ulysses Grant expelling Jews “as a class” from the military department of Tennessee. “It was wrong. Even if it was 1862, even if official acts of anti-Semitism were all too common around the world, it was wrong and indicative of an ugly strain of thought,” Obama said. He went on to note that American Jews protested the order. “What happened next could have only taken place in America,” the president said. “Groups of American Jews protested General Grant’s decision.” Obama described how a Jewish merchant from Kentucky met with President Abraham Lincoln and, following the meeting, the order was revoked. “Like so many groups, Jews have had to fight for their piece of the American dream,” Obama said. “But this country holds a special promise: That if we stand up for the traditions we believe in and in
the values we share, then our wrongs can be made right, our union can be made more perfect, and our world can be repaired.” The order by Lincoln to revoke Grant’s order was on display during the reception, as were letters from two Jewish groups asking for the revocation. Years later as president, Grant said that he recognized his mistake and apologized for the order. Also on display was a receipt for his contribution to the Adas Israel congregation, which still exists, after attending an 1876 service. Obama opened his remarks by thanking Israeli U.S. Ambassador Michael Oren for “his work representing our great friend, the State of Israel” before emphasizing the significance of the U.S. commitment to Israel. “Beyond our borders, we have to stand alongside our friends who share our commitment to freedom and democracy and universal rights; and that includes, of course, our unwavering commitment to the State of Israel and its security and the pursuit of a just and lasting peace,” the president said. A number of Jewish members of Congress were present at the reception, including Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee. Also, Howard Berman (D-Calif.), Shelley Berkley (D-N.V.), David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Susan Davis (D-Calif.), Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), Sander Levin (D-Mich.), Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) and Henry Waxman (D-Calif.).
Three top Jewish women activists endorse Obama Three past and current leaders of Jewish women’s advocacy groups endorsed President Obama, citing their concerns about women’s rights. Nancy Ratzan, the immediate past president of the National Council of Jewish Women; Barbara Dobkin, the founding chairwoman of the Jewish Women’s Archive, the chairwoman of the American Jewish World Service board of trustees and a major donor to a number of causes; and Millie Sernovitz, the chairwoman of Jewish Family and Community Services of South Florida and a past president of Jewish Women International, signed an Op-Ed in the Jewish Journal of Broward County titled “Stand With Us.” The newspaper is located in Florida, which is seen as a swing state. Both campaigns are focused heavily on its substantial Jewish population. Speaking of the Republican presidential candidates, the Op-Ed claimed: “They all support ending access to reproductive choice, including basic contraception. Indeed, their likely nominee, Mitt Romney has called Roe v. Wade ‘one of the darkest moments in Supreme Court history,’ he supports the ‘personhood amendment’ that would outlaw all abortion, and he says he will repeal health care reform on his first day in office.” Romney has said he would stop government funding for Planned Parenthood, but has never said he would stop access to contraception. He has pledged to initiate a rollback
of some aspects of the health care reform passed in 2010, but has suggested that he will keep some of its provisions and replace others with models he believes will be more efficient. Romney does favor the overturn of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that guarantees a woman’s access to abortion as a matter of privacy, but he also has said that he favors legal abortions in cases of rape, incest or when the woman’s life is in danger. Regarding Obama, the Op-Ed stated that, “With respect to Israel, our security assistance has increased every year, we’ve quelled attempts to isolate Israel, and Iran is under greater pressure than ever before. With respect to domestic achievements, his historic health care reform has created access to better and more affordable health care for millions of Americans.” Obama’s increases in security assistance to Israel are partly the result of a memorandum of understanding framed by the previous Bush administration. The Op-Ed noted Obama’s mandated inclusion of contraceptive care coverage in health care plans whatever the religious inclinations of the employer. Ratzan is a donor to Democratic candidates and acts as a surrogate for the Obama campaign in Florida. Dobkin has been a major giver to Democratic candidates. (JTA)
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Poll shows strong Jewish support for labor, higher taxes A poll showed American Jews strongly favor tax increases for the wealthy and tend to back labor in disputes with management. The poll, released Thursday, May 31 by the Workmen’s Circle, showed 65 percent of respondents favored raising taxes on those who earn more than $200,000 a year and that 61 percent tend to side with the union when they hear of a strike against a large company. A similar number, 62 percent, perceived a “major threat” from the “power of financial institutions and banks.” The Workmen’s Circle, in commissioning the poll, sought to assess Jewish views on labor, taxes and jobs because such questions have been absent in recent years from a number of other high-profile polls of Jewish Americans. The Jewish labor rights group, established in 1900, is seeking to re-assume a higher profile in the Jewish community. “An organization who is going to con-
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Conservative rabbinic group issues guidelines for same-sex wedding rituals by Ben Sales
NEW YORK (JTA)—The Conservative movement—affirming that same-sex marriages have “the same sense of holiness and joy as that expressed in heterosexual marriages”—last month established rituals for same-sex wedding ceremonies. The landmark vote by the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly follows a 2006 ruling by the committee “favor[ing] the establishment of committed and loving relationships for gay and lesbian Jews.” But the 2006 responsum declined to specify rituals for establishing gay and lesbian relationships, calling them “complicated and controversial questions that deserve a separate study.” Last month’s position paper, which was adopted by a vote of 13-0, with one abstention, fills that void by outlining two possible marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples. The paper’s authors, Rabbis Elliot Dorff, Daniel Nevins and Avram Reisner, also wrote a 2006 responsum titled “Homosexuality, Human Dignity and Halakhah,” which declared gays eligible for rabbinic ordination. “This is the next step in the process of bringing about the full inclusion of LGBT Jews,” says Rabbi Aaron Weininger, using the acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. “Visibility of LGBT people as individuals and couples makes us stronger as a Jewish community.” The first openly gay student admitted to the rabbinical school at the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary, Weininger received his rabbinic ordination last month. He was consulted during the composition of last week’s paper. The paper acknowledges that “same-sex intimate relationships are comprehensively banned by classical rabbinic law,” or halachah. The biblical prohibition against homosexual intimacy appears twice in Leviticus. “A man who lies with a male as with a woman, the two have committed an abomination,” says Leviticus 20:13. “They shall be put to death; their blood is upon them.” Leviticus 18:22 makes a similar statement. The Conservative movement’s decision says that, “for observant gay and lesbian Jews who would otherwise be condemned to a life of celibacy or secrecy, their human dignity requires suspension of the rabbinic level prohibitions.” Dorff, Nevins and Reisner proposed two possible ceremonies that incorporate what they deem to be the four key elements of
a Jewish wedding: welcoming the couple, symbols of celebration, a document of covenant and blessings thanking God. One ceremony hews closely to the traditional Jewish wedding, making changes in the language and the blessings based on the couple’s gender and sexuality. The other departs from that ceremony, with three blessings, for example, instead of the traditional seven. The Conservative decision did not call same-sex marriages kiddushin, the traditional Jewish legal term for marriage, because that act of consecration is nonegalitarian and gender-specific. In the traditional kiddushin ceremony, a pair of blessings is recited and the bridegroom gives his bride a ring, proclaiming that he is marrying his bride “according to the laws of Moses and Israel.” Such a ceremony would be inappropriate for same-sex ceremonies, the Conservative rabbis suggested in their position paper. They also noted that the use of kiddushin opens the door to divorce disputes in which a husband may deny his wife a religious writ of divorce, or get—something that “has been the source of great suffering in many Jewish communities.” Rabbi Menachem Creditor, who has been performing same-sex marriages since 2002—four years before the movement permitted them—says that Jewish law is flexible, and should respond to changes within the Jewish community. “Modern halachah has always seen the Torah as its center, but not any one meaning as the final interpretation,” says Creditor, the rabbi of Berkeley’s Congregation Netivot Shalom. “There is a growing understanding from within Conservative Jews that our responsibility is to steward our community with clarity. Conservative Judaism believes halachah changes when it must.” Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, who heads the LGBT Congregation Beit Simchat Torah in New York, says that these new guidelines represent a major step forward in Conservative Judaism’s sensitivity toward the LGBT community. “We can’t be held hostage to the radical right wing of the Jewish world,” says Kleinbaum, who was ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. “The Conservative movement is rejecting religion based on bigotry.” While the 2006 decision to ordain gay and lesbian rabbis and accept gay couples was controversial, even Rabbi Joel Roth, who resigned from the law committee in the wake of that decision, calls this latest responsum “a very fine thing.” “The fact that they created the ceremony
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is five or six years overdue,” he says. “In the Conservative movement as it exists, the classical position [of forbidding gay relations] is considered nonnormative.” The Reform movement’s Central Conference of American Rabbis endorsed Jewish gay marriage in the late 1990s while acknowledging the right of rabbis to choose whether to officiate at same-sex ceremonies. Reconstructionist rabbis also may officiate at same-sex ceremonies. The Orthodox movement does not allow gay marriage. Kleinbaum says she hopes that the Conservative movement’s next step in addressing LGBT issues will be in accommodating bisexual and transgender people. Rabbi Gerald Skolnik, the president of the Rabbinical Assembly, says that the movement’s constituency will determine its priorities. “Ultimately,” he says, “the Jewish people have a tendency of deciding what the next item on the agenda will be.”