Southeastern Virginia | Vol. 53 No. 19 | 5 Tammuz 5775 | June 22, 2015
Deadline for Iran deal is June 30
13 Hineni! Graduates before leaving for Israel
There’s still time to voice an opinion and contact Congress
28 HAT students learn about the Civil War
30 Exhibit of Elie Weisel competition winners
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Legal Matters in the Jewish community
31 Woodstockley Gardens
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U.S. officials: Iran needn’t reveal past nuclear activity WASHINGTON (JTA)—Iran will not have to come clean about its past efforts to obtain nuclear weapons in order to sign a final deal with world powers on its atomic program, U.S. and Western officials said. On June 11, The Associated Press quoted unnamed officials as saying that questions about Iran’s past activity toward achieving those capabilities will not be answered by the June 30 deadline for a final deal. In 2013, the Obama administration said that a comprehensive solution “would include resolution of questions concerning the possible military dimension of Iran’s nuclear program.” The deal would lift some sanctions on Iran in exchange for what U.S. officials have described as verifiable compliance with limitations set to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear arms. The officials said that instead of coming clean before the deal is signed, the lifting of sanctions would be linked to Iranian compliance with the deal, including coming clean about its nuclear past. The officials’ expectation that the questions about Iran’s past nuclear weapons activity would not be answered by the deadline echoed an assessment by the U.N. nuclear agency’s top official earlier this week. Nevertheless, the officials said an accord remains possible. One senior Western official on June 11 described diplomats as “more likely to get a deal than not.” Iran has denied ever working to obtain
nuclear offensive capabilities, though Israel and Western intelligence agencies dispute this. Israel and some Arab countries are opposed to the deal with Iran, saying that it will allow Iran to reach a threshold that would make it impossible for the international community to stop Iran from going nuclear. Obama administration officials say the deal is the best way to prevent Iran from going nuclear. Separately, Michael Flynn, until last year the chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told Congress that there are “severe deficiencies” in the emerging deal with Iran. Speaking to a joint session of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Committees, Flynn said that Iran “has every intention to build a nuclear weapon” and its “stated desire to destroy Israel is very real.” Among the deal’s deficiencies outlined by Flynn, in testimony posted by the Daily Mail, are limits Iran’s leaders say they will impose on nuclear inspectors; the notion that sanctions could be reimposed once Iran violates the deal; and the notion that Iran will moderate its positions during the 10–15 years some of the restrictions are in place, which Flynn called “wishful thinking.” Flynn also faulted the administration with not consulting with allies in the region, including Israel.
About the cover: Photograph courtesy of The Israel Project.
Up Front . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Briefs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Torah Thought . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Iran Deal nears. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Obama not winning over Jews. . . . . . . 8 Global anti-Semitism . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Election 2016 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 ADL’s Abe Foxman’s impact. . . . . . . . 12 Hineni! before leaving for Israel . . . . 13 The Mother’s Circle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Chris Kraus joins Ohef Sholom Temple. . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Legal Matters in the Jewish community . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
HAT students and the Civil War. . . . 28 Holocaust Commission’s student art exhibit. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Woodstockley Gardens. . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Book Review. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 What’s Happening . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Calendar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Mazel Tov. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Who Knew?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Obituaries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 TripAdvisor’s CEO has soft spot for Israel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Ex-envoy Michael Oren: Obama abandoned ‘Two core principles’ of U.S.-Israel alliance WASHINGTON ( JTA)—Israel’s former ambassador to Washington accused President Barack Obama of abandoning “core principles” of the U.S.-Israel relationship. Michael Oren in an Op-Ed appearing Tuesday, June 16 in The Wall Street Journal said Obama abandoned the principle of keeping disagreements private and of “no surprises” between the countries. Oren, who served as ambassador from 2009 to 2013, faulted the Israeli government for announcing settlement building at inopportune times, but said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was not personally responsible for the missteps. “But Mr. Obama posed an even more fundamental challenge by abandoning the two core principles of Israel’s alliance with America,” Oren wrote, adding that Obama was not anti-Israel and bolstered the security relationship. “Immediately after his first inauguration, Mr. Obama put daylight between Israel and America,” Oren said, referring to a July 2009 meeting with Jewish leaders in which Obama said that the policy of “no daylight” with Israel was detrimental to U.S. interests and to advancing the peace process. Oren, now a lawmaker in the Israeli Knesset as a member of the center-right Kulanu party, advised a return to the policies of “no daylight” and “no surprises.”
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jewishnewsva.org | June 22, 2015 | Jewish News | 3
briefs Jewish groups demand apology from NPR’s Rehm for Sanders’ loyalty question Jewish groups demanded an apology from NPR host Diane Rehm for saying that Sen. Bernie Sanders has dual Israeli-American citizenship. “Such a statement is not only factually incorrect, but has no place in such an interview,” the Anti-Defamation League’s national director, Abraham Foxman, said in a letter Wednesday, June 10 to National Public Radio. “It is deeply troubling to think that a well-respected media outlet like NPR would apparently rely on unsubstantiated information from the Internet in its preparation for a guest.” The National Jewish Democratic Council also called for an apology. Rehm hosts an interview show for NPR’s Washington, D.C., affiliate, WAMU. Interviewing Sanders, the Vermont Independent who is a candidate for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, she said, “Senator, you have dual citizenship with Israel.” Sanders was annoyed by the question. “Well, no I do not have dual citizenship with Israel,” he said, according to a transcript first posted by the Los Angeles Jewish Journal. “I’m an American. I don’t know where that question came from. I am an American citizen, and I have visited Israel on a couple of occasions.” Rehm said she was referring to a “list.” In a statement later, she said she had seen the list on Facebook. Lists have circulated in recent years accusing every Jewish lawmaker in Congress of having dual Israeli citizenship. “I want to apologize as well to all our listeners for having made an erroneous statement,” Rehm said, noting that she apologized to Sanders during the broadcast. “I am sorry for the mistake. However, I am glad to play a role in putting this rumor to rest.” Foxman and the NJDC said the apology was inadequate. “Her mistake was not to research it before she even stated it as fact,” Foxman said. “She simply should not have asked the question.” The NJDC said Rehm had perpetuated an anti-Semitic rumor instead of squelching it. (JTA)
Jeb Bush tours Auschwitz Jeb Bush made an unannounced visit to Auschwitz during a European tour. The former Florida governor, who was visiting Germany, Poland and Estonia, visited the former Nazi concentration camp on Wednesday, June 10 Bloomberg News reported. Bush, who toured the site with his wife, Columba, did not announce the visit so reporters would not accompany them, “out of respect for the site and those affected,” Bloomberg reported. (JTA) U.S. Navy names ship for ex-congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords The U.S. Navy christened a combat ship named after former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona. Jill Biden, the wife of Vice President Joe Biden, broke a bottle of sparkling wine across the ship’s bow during the naming ceremony Saturday, June 13 at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Alabama. Giffords stepped down from her congressional seat in January 2012 to recover from being shot in the head a year earlier at a political event in Tucson, Arizona. Six people were killed in the shooting by a lone gunman, including a nine-year-old girl. She and her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, founded an organization that lobbies in support of gun control. Giffords was the first Jewish woman elected to statewide office in Arizona. “The christening of the future USS Gabrielle Giffords marks the beginning of what is certain to be a long life for this great ship,” said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. “It is also a celebration of the skill and dedication of the men and women who have built LCS 10 and the courage of her namesake. This ship truly embodies the Navy motto of Semper Fortis—Always Courageous.” (JTA) Qualcomm co-founder giving Technion record $50 million donation A co-founder of the Qualcomm Corp. will give $50 million to The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology—a record gift from an American donor. The gift from Andrew Viterbi, the
4 | Jewish News | June 22, 2015 | jewishnewsva.org
creator of a mathematical formula used in many of today’s mobile devices, to the Haifa-based university was announced during the Technion Board of Governors meeting in Israel this month. Viterbi, a distinguished visiting professor of electrical engineering at the university, is a Technion board member. “Technion electrical engineering graduates are in large part responsible for creating and sustaining Israel’s high-tech industry, which has been essential for Israel’s economic success,” he said. His Viterbi Algorithm allows rapid and accurate decoding of numerous overlapping signals, helping to eliminate signal interference. Viterbi and his late wife, Erna, have previously supported the university. He first lectured at the Technion in 1967 while on a sabbatical in Israel and has an honorary doctorate from the school. His mathematical formula is used in all four international standards for digital cellular telephones, as well as in data terminals, digital satellite broadcast receivers and deep space telemetry. Other applications include voice recognition programs and DNA analysis. Viterbi was awarded a National Medal of Science by President George W. Bush in 2008. (JTA)
Muslim hero in Paris kosher market attack honored in N.Y. The Muslim employee who saved Jewish shoppers during a terrorist attack on a Paris kosher supermarket was honored in New York. Lassana Bathily was presented with an official city proclamation Friday, June 12 by Mayor Bill de Blasio for his actions in the Hyper Cacher siege on Jan. 9. Bathily, an immigrant from Mali, was in the basement when a gunman entered the store. He hid 15 Jewish shoppers, including a two-year-old child, in the supermarket freezer. De Blasio called Bathily a “real hero” who “stood up to protect human life even when his own life is in danger,” the New York Daily News reported. The meeting took place at the Islamic Center of Brighton Beach in Brooklyn. Bathily was flown in to be recognized at
the annual scholarship dinner of the New York Police Department’s Muslim Officers Society, according to the newspaper. Earlier in the week, the American Jewish Committee presented Bathily with its Moral Courage Award at its 2015 Global Forum in Washington, D.C. “What I did was place people out of danger and ensure their safety—something everybody can do when they find themselves in such an extreme situation,” Bathily told AJC. “If it were to happen again tomorrow, I would do exactly the same thing because, for me, this is a normal and humane response.” At the forum, AJC presented posthumous awards citing Dan Uzan, a Jewish volunteer security guard murdered while protecting a Copenhagen synagogue in February, and Zidan Sief, an Israeli Druze policeman killed while trying to stop a terror attack at a Jerusalem synagogue last November. In January, Bathily, who has lived in Paris for nine years, was granted citizenship at a Paris ceremony after his application, initially filed last summer, was expedited in response to a public campaign on his behalf. (JTA)
Dieudonne loses appeal on parody of Holocaust survivor’s song The French comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala lost his appeal over the parody of a song by a French Jewish singer and Holocaust survivor. The country’s highest appeals court on June 11 upheld the ruling by the French Supreme Court in January and tacked on an additional daily fine for his not removing the parody from online venues. In total, the fine comes to more than $146,000. Dieudonne, who has been convicted seven times for inciting racial hatred against Jews, changed the song by the late Barbara from The Black Eagle to The Black Rat. He reportedly called the singer “crazy.” Her descendants argued that the parody was anti-Semitic in nature and humiliated the artist, who died in 1997, the French daily LeFigaro reported. Barbara, born Monique Andree Serf, was forced into hiding at the age of 10 during the Nazi occupation of France, according to the Times of Israel. (JTA)
Two views of adversity
“…the big and fearful wilderness of fiery snake and scorpion and thirst, where there isn’t any water…” (Deuteronomy 8: 15) “I remember the loving-kindness of your youth, the love of your honeymoon times, when you followed Me in the Wilderness, in a land unsown…” ( Jeremiah 2: 2) ne of the joys of serving as a rabbi is the opportunity to be with families and help them as they evaluate and reevaluate their lives. Upon mature reflection, people will sometimes hear the whisper of grace in what they had once thought was their earlier time of troubles. Sitting in their ample and well-appointed homes, they remember nostalgically the first garden apartment, before Botox, before the children, before the two-zone central air conditioning. How did they get by, with so much month at the end of their money? Back then, it was a struggle. But what they remember now is the intimacy and excitement of the first laps around life’s racecourse. The converse is also true, of course: people can sometimes identify what began to get them off track, when they had thought at the time that their path was completely smooth. In the first case, a new depth of gratitude to God, the source of all blessing, can be the result, and in the second case, repentance and all the good that follows from it. Judaism teaches us that God fosters even “ninth-inning rallies.” What makes us Jews, in part, is that we identify with a core story, retell it and apply its lessons to our lives. The center of that story is set in the time period from our slavery in Egypt to our entry into the Promised Land of Israel (Canaan). The mid-point of that, in turn, is our generational sojourn in the Wilderness of Sinai. What was that time like? Was it bad, or
good, or both? Does it depend where we are when we are remembering it? In the weekly Torah portions to which we turn at this time of year (Numbers chapters 12 through 25), the narrative is filled with condemnation of Israel’s faithlessness. We doubted God’s ability to sustain us. We rebelled against the austerity of our first time of freedom and fantasized about the abundance and variety of our table in Egypt. We chose to heed the wrong advice from the Ten Scouts, rather than the right advice from Joshua and Caleb, thereby condemning ourselves to a generation-long probation in Sinai rather than an immediate return to the land of the Ancestors. Many of us followed the demagogue Korach and “Dathan the Discontented” rather than absorb the painful truths that Moses was teaching. We worshiped one idol after another, including the orgiastic fertility cult of the Moabites. On the other hand, centuries later, the prophet Jeremiah eulogized that time as when Israel’s love for God was so great that we followed God into the wilderness, leaving civilization behind. Jeremiah doubtless knew the traditions of Deuteronomy. But he also knew that his own generation’s failings made those of the ancestors look good by comparison. So which was it? Were they good or bad? It was both. Reality is messy. Adversity challenges us in so many ways. We have to wrestle the demons of self-delusion, of mutual recrimination and of collective despair. Sometimes we fail. But sometimes, adversity schools and matures us, allowing the precious ore of character to be refined as the slag is burnt off. The Wilderness Generation was in part a failure, in part a success. It failed to escape from its inner brokenness. The slave left Egypt, but Egypt remained in the slave. On the other hand, that generation succeeded in raising the first Zionist pioneers. And so is it, quite often, in our lives. Looking back on earlier periods, we find that there is more than one way to connect the dots. We are the children of the Children of Israel. We cherish the Torah so that we can learn from our history. —Rabbi Michael Panitz, Temple Israel
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Will Iran be able to build nuclear weapons? Your voice matters! by Robin Mancoll
he answer could be determined by the June 30 deadline for a final agreement between Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany (known as the P5+1 which includes the U.S., UK, China, Russia, France and Germany). The outcome has profound consequences for America and the Middle East. An interim agreement between Iran and the P5+1 was signed in November 2013, but didn’t seem to produce any real results until the announcement of the latest parameters, which emerged in April of this year, after an intense eight-day period of negotiations in Lausanne, Switzerland. Since 1979, the Iranian regime, most recently under President Rouhani’s leadership, has demonstrated increasingly threatening behavior and rhetoric toward the U.S. and the West. Iran continues to defy the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United Nations in their attempts to monitor its nuclear activities. A number of Arab states have warned that Iran’s development of nuclear weapons poses a threat to Middle East stability and could provoke a regional nuclear arms race. The IAEA traces Iran’s nuclear arms ambitions as far back as 1984, when supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Hosseini
Khamenei was president and Iran was in the middle of the war with Iraq. Fearing that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein might be developing a nuclear weapon, Iran felt the need to have its own bomb to deter its enemies and endorsed a nuclear weapons program. During the past few years of negotiations and generous offers by the P5+1, Iran has not demonstrated a willingness to give up the capability to develop nuclear weapons, nor have their leaders given global leaders any reason to believe that they are honest brokers with which one can have a successful negotiation. Through its proxy armies of Hezbollah in southern Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, and its Quds Force which is heavily involved in bolstering Assad’s forces in Syria, the Iranian regime is supporting terrorists that have carried out attacks on innocent civilians across the Middle East, as well as on American troops and Israeli citizens. In recent months, the commander of the Basij militia of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards has called for Israel’s annihilation stating that, “erasing Israel off the map” is “nonnegotiable.” The world watched video of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard troops attack a full size replica of the U.S. aircraft carrier, the Nimitz (Nimitz-class carriers are the centerpiece of U.S. naval forces, and the largest warships in the world) during a military
be trusted to comply
transparency & accountability measures.
6 | Jewish News | June 22, 2015 | jewishnewsva.org
Courtesy of The Israel Project.
drill in the Strait of Hormuz in February, and in late April, just days before the framework was announced, news spread of Iranian forces boarding a Marshall Islandsflagged cargo ship in the Persian Gulf after patrol boats fired warning shots across its bow and ordered it deeper into Iranian waters as it was traveling through the Strait
of Hormuz. With these actions offering just a few highlights from Iranian leadership in the past few months, Speaker of the House John Boehner’s tweeted his thoughts and those of other global leaders on April 3: “Iran can’t be trusted to comply with honest transparency & accountability measures.”
Sources for information UJFT: www.JewishVA.org/CRCIran ADL: www.adl.org/israel-international/iran AIPAC: www.aipac.org/iran AJC: www.ajc.org/iran Foundation for Defense of Democracies: www.defenddemocracy.org Iran Fact File: www.iranfactfile.org Iran Intelligence: www.iranintelligence.com The Iran Primer: www.iranprimer.com The Israel Project’s No Bomb for Iran: www.nobombforiran.com United Against Nuclear Iran: www.unitedagainstnucleariran.com The Washington Institute: www.washingtoninstitute.org
resolution objecting to an agreement and barring any statutory sanctions relief. With the deadline quickly approaching to reach a nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1, Congress must continue to insist on a good deal that eliminates every Iranian pathway to a nuclear weapon. When reviewing the deal, Congress must ensure that each of the following five minimum criteria is met:
Courtesy of The Israel Project.
Following are some key points as to why a nuclear armed Iran is such a threat: A nuclear-armed Iran would embolden Iran’s aggressive foreign policy, resulting in greater confrontations with the international community. Iran already has a conventional weapons capability to hit U.S. and allied troops stationed in the Middle East and parts of Europe. If Tehran were allowed to develop nuclear weapons, this threat would increase dramatically. Iran is one of the world’s leading state sponsors of terrorism through its financial and operational support for groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas and others. Iran could potentially share its nuclear technology and know-how with extremist groups hostile to the United States and the West. While Iranian missiles can’t yet reach America, Iran having a nuclear weapons capability can potentially directly threaten the United States and its inhabitants. The U.S. Department of Defense reported in April 2012: “With sufficient foreign assistance, Iran may be technically capable of flight-testing an intercontinental ballistic missile by 2015.” Many analysts are also concerned about the possibility of a nuclear weapon arriving in a cargo container at a major U.S. port. Furthermore, a federally mandated commission to study electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attacks noted the vast damage that could be wrought by a single missile with a nuclear warhead, launched from a ship off the U.S. coast, and detonated a couple of hundred miles in the air, high above America. A nuclear-armed Iran poses a threat to
America’s closest allies in the Middle East. Israel is most at risk. America’s moderate Arab allies, such as Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and others are alarmed at Iran’s aggressive regional policy and feel increasingly threatened by a nuclear-armed Iran. A nuclear-armed Iran would likely spark a nuclear arms race in the Middle East that would further destabilize this volatile and vital region. The framework currently being reviewed outlines measures that the Iranians and the international community will take regarding Iran’s nuclear program in the event of a final agreement. While the steps laid out within the framework have been presented as the key elements of any such agreement, the specifics are still subject to negotiation. It’s important to note that both the U.S. and Iran published fact sheets outlining the framework deal, and there are discrepancies between the two.
ver the past several years, strong majorities in the Senate and House of Representatives have carefully enunciated the basic American requirements for a final agreement on Iran’s nuclear program. Congress has made clear that a good deal must eliminate every Iranian pathway to a nuclear weapon. The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, passed overwhelmingly in the House (400-25) and Senate (98-1) in May, establishes a procedure for congressional review of any nuclear agreement with Iran to ensure it meets U.S. objectives. Under its provisions, Congress could pass a joint
1. Inspections and verification Inspectors must be permitted unimpeded access to suspect sites. A good deal must support “anytime, anywhere” inspections—including all military facilities—to verify Iranian compliance. Iran’s decades-long history of cheating on international obligations suggests it will secretly attempt to continue its nuclear weapons program. Iran cannot be permitted any safe havens where it could pursue this ambition. 2. Possible military dimensions Iran must fully explain its prior weaponization efforts. A good deal must require Iran to come clean on all of its prior nuclear work, such as developing triggers for a nuclear weapon, as required by six United Nations Security Council resolutions. The entire scope of Iran’s nuclear activities must be known to establish a baseline against which to measure future actions. Iran must also be made to comply with prior commitments; allowing Iran to shirk them will only tempt it to defy commitments made under a new deal. 3. Sanctions Sanctions relief must commence only after Iran complies with its commitments. A good deal must lift sanctions gradually as Iran meets its obligations under the agreement. Further, any deal should specify clear and immediate consequences for Iranian violations. The international community must retain significant leverage while Iran demonstrates compliance; it must not provide immediate sanctions relief or unfreeze a significant portion of Tehran’s assets so Iran can “take the money and run.” 4. Duration Iran’s nuclear weapons quest must be blocked for decades. A good deal must prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear threshold state. The announced framework would lift nuclear
restrictions in 10 to 15 years and grant Iran virtually instant breakout time after 12 or 13 years. A deal must restrict Iran’s nuclear capabilities to include research and development until it demonstrates conclusively, over time, that it no longer seeks a nuclear weapons capability. 5. Dismantlement Iran must dismantle its nuclear infrastructure so it has no path to a nuclear weapon. A good deal must require Iran to dismantle its nuclear infrastructure and relinquish its uranium stockpile such that it has neither a uranium nor plutonium pathway to nuclear weapons.
n his 2015 State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama reiterated, “There are no guarantees that negotiations will succeed, and I keep all options on the table to prevent a nuclear Iran.” There is much talk about another extension, as Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has said, “no deal is better than a bad deal.” We urge you to take a moment and contact your Senators and Congressman, letting them know how you feel, that a nuclear Iran is not in America’s best interest, or that of our allies. Use the talking points we provide, or share your personal concerns. Either way, your voice matters. To contact your Representatives in Washington visit www.JewishVa.org/ CRCIran and click through the CRC’s automated “Your Voice Matters, Contact Your Legislators” or call them at the numbers listed in the box below. —Robin Mancoll is director of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Community Relations Council.
Representatives Sen. Mark R. Warner (D) 202-224-2023 Sen. Tim Kaine (D) 202-224-4024 Rep. Robert J. Wittman (R-1st) 202-225-4261 Rep. Scott Rigell (R-2nd) 202-225-4215 Rep. Bobby Scott (D-3rd) 202-225-8351 Rep. Randy Forbes (R-4th) 202-225-6365
jewishnewsva.org | June 22, 2015 | Jewish News | 7
Obama’s latest wooing of Jews not working, poll suggests by Ron Kampeas
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8 | Jewish News | June 22, 2015 | jewishnewsva.org
WASHINGTON (JTA)—It’s early days for the White House’s latest charm offensive among American Jews, but a new poll suggests that the wooing effort is having little effect. The poll, published June 10 by J Street, a liberal pro-Israel group that generally backs President Barack Obama’s Middle East policies, shows Obama stuck at the same mid-50s approval ratings he was registering in April, when U.S.-Israel tensions were prominently in the news. Jim Gerstein, whose GBA Strategies conducted the poll, suggests that Obama and his supporters face an environment among Jews that has been shaped largely by the president’s critics. “The balance of criticism against the president on issues related to Israel has far outweighed the statements of support for the president, certainly among the organizations that have the largest reach,” Gerstein says. The 56 percent approval rating among Jews that Obama scored in the GBA poll is still about 10 points higher than the national average. It’s also not the first time he has scored in the 50s among Jews. Obama’s numbers among voting-age Jewish Americans have fluctuated throughout his seven years in office. This poll, however, follows a high profile and intensive effort by the administration to reassure American Jews that he has the best interests of Israel and Jews worldwide at heart. The White House launched the outreach in April after weeks of public tensions with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the emerging Iran nuclear deal. Netanyahu’s decision to accept an invitation from the Republican leadership to address Congress in March, and remarks by the Israeli leader during his reelection campaign that appeared to reject a twostate solution and denigrate Arab-Israeli voters, further irked the White House. The poll, conducted between May 31 and June 3 among 1,000 Jewish adults, showed a gain of just 2 points—well within the 3.1 percent margin of error— over an April 10 Gallup poll that showed Obama
with a 54 percent approval rating among American Jews. The latest numbers come after Obama gave interviews to two prominent Jewish journalists—The New York Times’ Thomas Friedman and The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg—in which he discussed his closeness to Israel, and another with a leading Israeli television journalist, Ilana Dayan. He marked Jewish American Heritage Month with an impassioned speech on May 22 at Adas Israel Congregation, a Conservative synagogue in Washington, D.C. The president’s top aides have made sure to address virtually every major Jewish conference in recent weeks. Most recently, Jacob Lew, the Treasury secretary, endured boos at the annual conference organized by The Jerusalem Post—a gathering notable in the past for attracting Obama’s most acerbic critics. The theme of Obama’s messaging is that he sees Israel as a key strategic ally, and also has an emotional attachment to the country and the Jewish people. “To a young man like me, grappling with his own identity, recognizing the scars of race here in this nation, inspired by the civil rights struggle, the idea that you could be grounded in your history, as Israel was, but not be trapped by it, to be able to repair the world—that idea was liberating,” Obama said in the speech at the synagogue. “The example of Israel and its values was inspiring,” he said. “So when I hear some people say that disagreements over policy belie a general lack of support of Israel, I must object, and I object forcefully.” Obama bristles when he is told he is not reaching Israelis and Jews on the gut level. “Well, the people here think I’m a pretty good hugger,” he told Dayan after she revealed to him that a confidant of his had told her that Obama is “not a hugger.” Over the years, the White House has pushed back against perceptions that Obama is cool on Israel, noting that the levels of defense assistance and cooperation between the countries are unprecedented and casting disagreements over IsraeliPalestinian peacemaking and the Iran nuclear talks as tactical, not strategic.
Still, the president’s critics in the rightwing pro-Israel community have found traction with a narrative built on real and perceived gaps in the relationship. Some of the criticisms have been grounded in fact, including the Obama administration’s decision to keep details of the emerging Iran deal from Israel, in part because it believed that the Israelis were leaking the details to media. But others are more fable, such as the claim that in 2010, Obama thanked six nations assisting Haiti following the earthquake there but did not mention Israel. Obama incurred the wrath of groups like the Zionist Organization of America over Haiti, even though the president’s statement in that case was made before Israeli relief crews landed in the country. Nevertheless, the idea that Obama deliberately snubbed Israel’s Haiti relief has persisted, and reportedly is making an appearance in former Israeli ambassador Michael Oren’s forthcoming account of the U.S.-Israel relationship. The narrative of Obama’s ill intent has appeared to help shape perceptions among Jewish-Americans. While 57 percent of respondents in the J Street poll agreed that Obama “has repeatedly demonstrated his support for the state and the people of Israel” and he has “led unprecedented military and
security cooperation between the United States and Israel,” a substantial 43 percent agreed that he “unfairly undermines Israel’s interests and does not sufficiently support the Jewish state” and “has gone too far in his criticism of Prime Minister Netanyahu and his criticism sends the wrong message to Israel’s enemies.” Mark Mellman, a Democratic pollster, says the numbers were strong and it was unrealistic to expect a change in attitudes so soon. “President Obama is doing substantially better in the Jewish community than he is in the public at large,” Mellman says, noting the gap between the 56 percent approval rating the president scores among Jews and the 45 percent on average among the wider American public. “It’s unreasonable to expect the Adas speech would have much impact.” Mark McNulty, the spokesman for the Republican Jewish Coalition, a group that has advanced the narrative that Obama cares little about Israel, says the poll showed that Jewish-Americans needed more than rhetoric. “A charm offensive is not going to do anything to paper over the wounds that have developed over the last six years,” he says.
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Global surges of anti-Semitism Madrid alderman resigns over Holocaust joke
he Madrid alderman for culture, under fire for posting a joke about the Holocaust on Twitter four years ago, has resigned. Guillermo Zapata resigned Monday, June 15 after opposition parties and the umbrella group for Jewish communities in Spain demanded he step down, the Spanish daily El Pais reported. Madrid Mayor Manuela Carmena accepted the resignation. Zapata, who previously worked as a script writer and novelist, assumed his post this month after his left-wing party won in municipal elections in May. In 2011 he tweeted, “How do you fit five million Jews into a 600? In the ashtray.” The figure 600 is a reference to the SEAT 600, an iconic Spain-made 1970s urban automobile that weighed less than 600 kilograms, or 1,200 pounds. Bodies of murdered Jews and other victims of
Nazism were regularly burned to ash in crematoria that the Nazis set up in extermination camps across Europe. FCJE, the umbrella group for Jewish communities in Spain, in a statement said Carmena should ask for Zapata’s resignation or dismiss him immediately. The group termed the joke “anti-Semitic and repugnant.” FCJE also called on municipal authorities to initiate legal action against Zapata. Zapata, a member of Carmena’s Madrid Now party, or Ahora Madrid, apologized for any offense caused by his joke but defended it as harmless. He wrote on Twitter that he was neither anti-Semitic “nor a supporter of violence.” He added: “I apologize to all who may have been offended” by his statement. But he also wrote that his joke was merely an expression of “black humor that helps reach catharsis.” (JTA)
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Your Table is Waiting! 10 | Jewish News | June 22, 2015 | jewishnewsva.org
Dutch gov’t postpones release of survey showing anti-Semitism among Muslim youth THE HAGUE, Netherlands (JTA)—The Dutch government postponed indefinitely the release of a survey suggesting that anti-Semitism is more prevalent among Muslim youths than Christian ones. The Verwey Jonker Institute submitted the synopsis for its government-commissioned report on anti-Semitism among youths last month for publication to the Dutch Social Affairs Ministry, which has kept it under wraps past the May deadline and ordered a review of the data, the De Telegraaf daily reported. De Telegraaf nonetheless reviewed a copy of the synopsis, which said that 12 percent of Muslim respondents expressed a “not positive” view of Dutch Jews compared to 2 percent among Christian respondents. Asked by De Telegraaf why the report has not been released, a ministry spokesman said the ministry needs “clarification, for example, on how to explain some results.” The ministry declined to elaborate, De Telegraaf reported. The Telegraaf report did not say how many youths were questioned in the survey by the Verwey Jonker Institute, which is among the country’s leading authorities on conducting scientific
research on social issues. Asked about Jews in Israel, 40 percent of Muslim respondents expressed a “not positive” view compared to 6 percent among Christians, 10 percent among members of other faiths and 8 percent among atheists. Among Muslim respondents, Zionists came out as least liked, with 66 percent expressing a “not positive” view compared to 6 percent among Christians. Muslims of Turkish descent expressed more negative views of Jews than their Moroccan peers. The same applied to males compared to females, the report said. On the State of Israel, 62 percent of Muslims and 13 percent of Christians expressed negative feelings. Among members of other faiths and atheists, 19 and 22 percent, respectively, said they did not have a positive view of the Jewish state. The Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, or CIDI, a watchdog on anti-Semitism, defended the government’s decision to withhold the report’s release, citing “the risk that respondents conflated some of the terms they were asked about.”
Study: Nazi propaganda had lifelong effect on many Germans
ermans who grew up during the 1930s are far more likely than their younger countrymen to have negative attitudes about Jews, according to a new study of anti-Semitism in Germany. The study, released Monday, June 15 by American and Swiss researchers, found that anti-Semitic views were particularly strong among Germans raised in regions of the country that were known for anti-Semitism even before Hitler came to power, The Associated Press reported. According to the researchers, who analyzed surveys conducted in 1996 and 2006, the findings indicated that Nazi propaganda was highly effective, especially when it confirmed existing beliefs.
“It’s not just that Nazi schooling worked, that if you subject people to a totalitarian regime during their formative years it will influence the way their mind works,” Hans-Joachim Voth of the University of Zurich, one of the study’s authors, told AP. “The striking thing is that it doesn’t go away afterward.” Voth added that the propaganda was particularly effective when “the overall environment where children grew up was already a bit anti-Semitic. It tells you that indoctrination can work, it can last to a surprising extent, but the way it works has to be compatible to something people already believe.” (JTA)
Election 2016 Bernie Sanders: Being Jewish taught me what politics is about
day after a radio host falsely said that Sen. Bernie Sanders has Israeli citizenship, the candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination spoke publicly about his Jewish identity. In an interview with the Christian Science Monitor Thursday, June 11, Sanders
(I-Vt.) said that he was “not particularly religious” but that as a child being Jewish taught him “in a very deep way what politics is about.” “A guy named Adolf Hitler won an election in 1932,” he told the Monitor. “He won an election, and 50 million people died as
JNF Canada cancels Huckabee speech amid LGBTQ objections TORONTO (JTA)—The Jewish National Fund of Canada has canceled a scheduled speech by U.S. presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee Huckabee, who is vying for the Republican bid in 2016, had his Oct. 15 speaking engagement in Ottawa canceled on June 10 following objections from the Canadian LGBTQ community, the Canadian Jewish News reported. An online petition at change.org calling for Huckabee to be pulled from speaking at the JNF Negev Dinner noted that comments from the former Arkansas governor “spread degrading hatefulness towards and about transgender people.” “This is a segment of our community that needs your support, not the appearance of yet further rejection and abuse, as clearly promoted by your announced speaker, Mr. Huckabee,” the petition said. The petition also noted that Huckabee publicly supported Josh Duggar, a member of the family featured in the TLC reality show 19 Kids and Counting who allegedly
molested some of his underage sisters and a family friend. Josh Cooper, JNF Canada’s CEO, told the Canadian Jewish News that the petition “had absolutely no impact whatsoever” on the decision to cancel Huckabee’s speech at the dinner, which this year will support autism research in Israel. In an email to the weekly newspaper, Cooper said that Huckabee was initially selected because “he is a staunch supporter of the State of Israel” and “has never wavered from this position,” but was disinvited because “the media spotlight has recently focused on Mr. Huckabee’s comments about issues that bear no relevance to JNF or autism.” Huckabee gave a speech last month at the National Religious Broadcasters’ convention in which he referred to transgenderism as a “social experiment” and joked he would have pretended to be trans in high school if he’d known it would allow him to shower with girls during gym, the Canadian Jewish News reported.
Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush both say Israel ties will improve in their presidencies WASHINGTON ( JTA)—Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton both said they would improve relations with Israel while formally announcing their presidential runs. “I will rebuild our vital friendships,” Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, said, formally launching his bid for the Republican nomination. “That starts by standing with the brave, democratic State of Israel.” Republicans accuse President Barack
Obama of distancing the United States from Israel. Bush has garnered many of the Jewish donors who backed his brother, President George W. Bush. Clinton, speaking in Des Moines, Iowa, on the day after her formal launch in New York, also suggested more could be done to improve relations with allies, although she did not mention Obama.
a result of that election in World War II, including 6 million Jews. So what I learned as a little kid is that politics is, in fact, very important.” In an interview with Sanders, National Public Radio host Diane Rehm offended Sanders and many American Jews when she
said, mistakenly, that the senator had dual U.S.-Israeli citizenship. The assertion rankled many because Jewish-Americans have historically faced accusations that they are disloyal to their countries of citizenship or care more about Israel than the country in which they live. (JTA) (see Brief on page 4)
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jewishnewsva.org | June 22, 2015 | Jewish News | 11
What will the ADL lose when Foxman leaves? by Uriel Heilman
NEW YORK (JTA)—If there’s one thing that can be said of longtime Anti-Defamation League leader Abraham Foxman, who is stepping down this month after nearly 30 years at the helm, it’s that he never holds back from speaking his mind. In an age of canned, anodyne statements from public figures reticent to say what they really think, Foxman offers an authentic, unabashed voice free of artifice, hesitation or restraint. Foxman also has something else when he speaks: listeners. Though the ADL doesn’t represent anyone but itself and Foxman is not an elected official, he is widely seen by journalists, the public and especially the White House as representing American Jewish opinion—to the consternation of many community activists to Foxman’s right and left. “Abe is one of the three or four people you have to speak to on any given issue,” says former White House official Jarrod
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Bernstein, who did Jewish outreach during President Barack Obama’s first term. “Abe was like an uncle to me. If you did something he thought you were on the wrong side of, he was going to let you know about it,” Bernstein says. “On the flip side, if he thought you were being treated unfairly, or you did something right, he wouldn’t hesitate to say that either. That’s important and we need more of that in the American Jewish community.” Foxman, who has run the ADL as national director since 1987 and worked there since graduating from law school in 1965, will be succeeded next month by Jonathan Greenblatt, a White House aide and social entrepreneur. Under Foxman’s leadership, the ADL has become a $60 million-a-year juggernaut that runs anti-bias educational and training programs, monitors anti-Semitism in the United States and around the world, advocates for anti-discrimination legislation, and maintains regional offices around the country to discharge these functions. It has also served as a bully pulpit for Foxman, who managed to become the world’s chief arbiter of what qualifies as anti-Semitism—and the granter of absolution when warranted. “He has an uncanny sense to know what to get involved with,” says Myrna Shinbaum, who worked at the ADL for 20 years and served as Foxman’s director of media relations and public information. The case of fashion designer John Galliano represents a classic case of Foxman’s capacity to censure and forgive. When Galliano was caught on video in February 2011 going on a drunken, anti-Semitic tirade, the ADL helped lead the charge that resulted in Galliano’s firing by Christian Dior. But once Galliano made amends, Foxman was just as vociferous in defending Galliano and vouching for his rehabilitation. In 2013, after Galliano had gone through counseling and was making his return to the design world, the New York Post accused Galliano of dressing in Hasidic garb and thereby mocking Jews. Foxman immediately jumped to Galliano’s defense, calling the story “a deliberate, malicious distortion” of Galliano’s outfit and intent. “For the past year and a half, Mr.
12 | Jewish News | June 22, 2015 | jewishnewsva.org
Galliano has been on a pilgrimage to learn from and grow from his mistakes. Now people are trying to distort and destroy him,” Foxman said in a statement. “He has spent hours with me and with others in the European Jewish community, including rabbis and Holocaust scholars, in an effort to better understand himself and to learn from his past mistakes. He is trying very hard to atone.” Kenneth Jacobson, the ADL’s deputy national director, says this is one of Foxman’s signature moves: The ability to turn someone who had crossed the anti-Semitism line into a friend of the Jews. After a high-profile Christian evangelist, the Rev. Bailey Smith, said in 1980 that God does not hear the prayers of Jews, the ADL blasted him. But then Foxman, who at the time was ADL’s associate national director and director of international affairs, orchestrated a visit to Israel for Smith. By the end, ADL officials said, Smith was calling him Rabbi Foxman. “He’s able to take a very negative situation and turn it into a very positive one,” Jacobson says. Along the way, Foxman has also become a confidant of presidents, prime ministers and too many celebrities to count. But on the central question of ADL’s raison d’etre—fighting anti-Semitism— did Foxman make any difference? It’s not hard to find anti-Semitism around the world today. In Europe, it’s evident in deadly attacks, anti-Israel demonstrations and boycott efforts. In Venezuela, Turkey and elsewhere, it comes from the mouths of public officials. On the Internet, it takes the form of virulent expressions of hate. In the Arab world, Jews are caricatured as they used to be in Nazi newspapers. By the same token, anti-Semitism in the United States is at historic lows. The Jews in Israel live in relative safety. In Russia, Ukraine and elsewhere in Europe, governments are protective of their Jewish populations. It’s hard to connect any of this to the ADL’s work, for better or for worse— though Foxman says the ADL is part of the reason America is one of the least antiSemitic countries in the world. “I don’t take credit for it, but I’m part
of the effort—not only of the American Jewish community, but of decent people in this country, to fight it,” Foxman says. “The most significant difference between the United States and the rest of the world is that in this country, there is a consequence to being a bigot and an anti-Semite. If you’re in commerce, if you’re in politics, if you’re in the arts—whatever it is—and you act out as an anti-Semite, you will pay a price.” Foxman’s personal story has lent moral authority to his work. Born in 1940 in Poland, Foxman’s Jewish parents left him in the care of his Polish-Catholic nanny during the war in a bid to save his life. Raised as a Catholic, Foxman didn’t discover he was Jewish until after the war, when his parents came to claim him. His nanny refused to give him up, resulting in a custody battle. After Foxman’s parents eventually won, they took their son with them to America, and only gradually did he let go of his Catholic habits and embrace his parents’ religion. “I’m a product of the worst in humankind and the best in humankind,” Foxman says. Foxman says he ended up at the ADL more by chance than design. He did some freelance translating for the organization — then known as the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith — while in high school at the Yeshivah of Flatbush in Brooklyn, and followed reporting on the ADL in the Jewish press. Foxman planned to be an engineer, largely so he could help Israel or America in the age of Sputnik, he says, but he changed his mind after suffering through two years of chemical engineering at City College. He switched to political science, attended New York University law school and reached out to the ADL’s general counsel, Arnold Forster, when he was interviewing for jobs. Foxman was offered a position on the spot. “To what extent did my experiences in the Shoah, the D.P. camps, my Catholicism have to do with that, I don’t know,” Foxman says. “I have been very lucky. To get up every morning and to have an opportunity to try to make a difference in both fighting hate and building love—wow. I have been very privileged.”
Hineni! graduates meet with Hofheimers before leaving for Israel
n Tuesday, June 2, Marcia Hofheimer and Joyce Strelitz and family, on behalf of the board of the Tom Hofheimer Fund, hosted the participants of the upcoming Tom Hofheimer Young Adult Mission to Israel for a special nesiah tovah (good journey) gathering. Twenty graduates of the Hineni! Institute for Leadership Development are embarking on a weeklong mission to Israel, leaving Norfolk on June 22.
The Tom Hofheimer Young Leadership Mission to Israel participants with Joyce Strelitz and Marcia Hofheimer (center).
Jenny Sachs, Stacie Hofheimer Moss and Ashley Lemke.
Taste of Summer Sam Steerman and Shawn Lemke.
Greg and Ashley Zittrain.
grilled salmon salad
grilled salmon with colorful cranberries and crispy beets, avocado, cucumber, red onion, mixed greens and arugula, topped with cranberry pear vinaigrette. Marcia Hofheimer.
jewishnewsva.org | June 22, 2015 | Jewish News | 13
The Mothers Circle empowers women raising Jewish children
ynamic conversations and religious discussion riveted the Klezmer Room at the Sandler Family Campus with participants of The Mothers Circle. Over the last nine months, 10 women who were not raised Jewish, but are married to Jewish men, de-mystified Judaism, learned how to identify personal meaning in Jewish rituals, holidays, and values, and now feel empowered with the tools to raise their children Jewish. The Mothers Circle, a national program of the Jewish Outreach institute, is a 16-session course with a non-denominational curriculum. Taught by a facilitator, tuition is free and no prior Jewish knowledge is required. The Mothers Circle strives to create comfortable spaces for women who were not raised Jewish (this includes non-Jewish women and recent Jews-bychoice) to learn about Judaism, to discover how to enrich their families’ Jewish experience, and to deepen their connection to the religion of their husbands and children—and to do so with peers so they’re not all alone. The program, which began in Atlanta and launched nationally in 2005, has rapidly expanded to nearly 100 communities. A coalition of Jewish organizations banded together to bring The Mothers Circle to Tidewater, including Ohef Sholom Temple, Congregation Beth El, the Simon Family Jewish Community Center, Strelitz
Early Childhood Center and Hebrew Academy of Tidewater. Alyssa Muhlendorf, MA, MSW facilitated the group and Rabbi Jeff Arnowitz of Congregation Beth El and Rabbi Roz Mandelberg of Ohef Sholom Temple, provided rabbinic advice and varied perspectives on Judaism. This year, the course took place on weekdays at the JCC. For the next session, The Mothers Circle will take place at Ohef Sholom Temple on Sundays at 10 am beginning Sept. 27, to allow working mothers and mothers who transport kids to religious school in Ghent to participate. Alyssa Muhlendorf and Nicole Rosenblum will co-facilitate the program. At their last session, the women shared what they had gained from the course for women and men who were not raised Jewish and haven’t yet had the opportunity to be part of such a group. Some of their thoughts include: Learning about Judaism is a process. You don’t have to know everything at once —bite off a little piece at a time. Be patient with yourself. Explore rituals, holidays and customs that you and your family find meaning in, and enjoy those first. Branch out to new things when ready. If you have the opportunity to be part of group learning about Judaism—do it! No two people practice Judaism exactly the same way. Thus there is no “right way” to be Jewish. Don’t let fear or anxiety stand in the way of trying new things.
The Mothers Circle participants hold signs saying what they took away from the course in a few words. Monique Werby, Beth Lloyd, Ashley Lemke, Alyssa Muhlendorf, Sharon Debb, Stacey Richman, Sarah Glass and Maria Dorsk. Not pictured are Nicole Rosenblum and Nichole Kushner.
The Tidewater Jewish community provides many opportunities to get to know other families and be exposed to Judaism. Many people pointed to their child being in Strelitz Early Childhood Center or Hebrew Academy of Tidewater as a great jumping off point for their family learning about Judaism. What their kids learned at school could more easily be reinforced at home. Others said joining a synagogue helped their comfort and knowledge level. And others felt membership and involvement at
the JCC was a great entry point. The more they met and engaged with other interfaith and Jewish families, the more comfortable they felt with Judaism. If interested in participating in the next course of The Mothers Circle, contact Linda Peck, director of Congregational Life at Ohef Sholom Temple, 625-4295 or email@example.com. Follow The Mothers Circle-Coastal Virginia on Facebook at https://www.facebook. com/TheMothersCircleCoastalVirginia.
Chris Kraus joins Ohef Sholom Temple as its first director of Family Learning
hef Sholom Temple’s Long Range Plan in 2006 envisioned engaging a full-time educator for its Religious School, but it wasn’t until 2013 when the Religious School Strategic Plan called for putting the vision into action. Throughout 2014, Linda Fox-Jarvis, then president, and the executive commitChris Kraus tee, with guidance from Kitty Wolf, interim educator, worked with the board and the RS committee to develop a job description and seek board approval. A search committee was appointed in January 2015 with the goal of hiring an educator by July 1. Although the search was time sensitive, the committee agreed
to fill the position only with the ‘right person.’ In addition to hiring an educator for the Religious School, the committee sought someone who would address the needs of the congregation’s youth and their parents beyond the school years. As Ted Kaufman, OST president, outlined in his message at the recent Annual Congregational Meeting, his term is devoted to Youth Engagement or “Yalldeinu,” which translates as “Our Youth.” This echoed the theme of the 2014 URJ Biennial: Youth Begins with YOU. After reviewing 13 resumes and conducting several Skype interviews, the committee met Christopher Kraus and
14 | Jewish News | June 22, 2015 | jewishnewsva.org
knew it was “mission accomplished.” As luck (or divine intervention) would have it, Kraus and his wife, Bari Cohen Kraus (a Norfolk native) wanted to relocate to the Norfolk area from Cincinnati, where he lived for 47 years and where he worked as the director of Lifelong Learning at Temple Sholom for the past four years. Kraus’ final message in the Cincinnati Sholom Temple bulletin read: “Every educational innovation we have implemented at Temple Sholom the past four years is part of my replication plan at Ohef Sholom Temple: a community garden, justice partnerships with urban agencies and abroad, communal meals at school (Jews @ the World), theatrical productions, A Jewish Journey through Mind and Meditation, infants as teachers, Camp Lifelong Learning and other forms of experiential
and interfaith learning.” Rabbi Roz Mandelberg notes, “Chris brings a wealth of knowledge, creativity and innovation that will make our school engaging, exciting and meaningful for students, parents and all OST members. We can’t wait for his enthusiasm, experience and passion to transform our educational offerings for our congregation.” “I look forward to meeting everyone of all ages and levels of engagement,” says Kraus. “I look forward to our learning together. And I thank God and OST for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” In fact, he and members of his family met many in the congregation at a Shabbat service on Friday, June 5, in which he and his wife participated and the oneg was in their honor.
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Legal Barbara Rosenblatt Firm: Office of the Public Defender, Newport News. Specialty: Criminal Defender. Education: B.A. from Indiana University, J.D. from the College of William and Mary, School of Law. Jewish organizations: Board member of the Business and Legal Society of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, member of the Young Adult Division of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, past participant in Super Sunday. Family: Father, Charles Rosenblatt; Mother, Nancy Rosenblatt. Favorite Jewish holiday: Passover. My whole family gets together to celebrate the holiday which is filled with a night of our own special traditions. Most memorable Jewish milestone/lifecycle event: My bat mitzvah. I surprised my father by learning the Torah portion for his Aliya to show my friends and family I understood the event was not simply about memorizing a haftorah portion. It
represents taking on the responsibilities of a Jewish adult and going beyond mere requirements. Most admired Jewish lawmaker: Barbara Boxer; She is one of the first female Senators. She is an advocate for women’s rights and supports government financial support for stem-cell research, which may help those with various diseases. Personal legal milestone: Last year I argued a case in front of the Virginia Court of Appeals. It was an incredible experience that introduced me to the process beyond everyday actions in a courtroom. Most memorable case: Four months after I started working at the Public Defenders Office I wrote the brief and handled the Motion to Suppress a confession based on a Miranda issue. I learned the importance of the defense was not simply to represent our clients in the courtroom, but also to ensure the values of the entire justice system. How has an understanding and/or commitment to Jewish values entered into your decisions or actions as an attorney? I have learned that having support from family and friends is the most important thing when a person is facing a possible conviction. When a client does not have that, it is my responsibility to make sure they understand I support any decision, no matter how I may feel, and I will represent them to the best of my abilities.
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Business & Legal Society promotes success for Jewish professionals extraordinary opportunities for Jewish professionals to engage with one another Mixing business and pleasure is tricky, but and expand their businesses. Including industries as diverse as real not for professional members of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Business estate, financial services, law, retail, insur& Legal Society. For them, it makes perfect ance and more, the Society unites driven and like-minded Jewish professionals with sense—good business sense. The Business & Legal Society brings a common goal: to create meaningful and Tidewater’s Jewish professionals together lasting impact for their businesses, their to connect, build relationships and families and their community. This year, under the leadership of strengthen their business and philanthropic ventures. A central and ever-rising co-chairs Faith Jacobson and Kirk Levy, force in Tidewater, the Society creates the Society presented an array of exciting speakers and events and experienced significant membership growth. “Business and Legal is a forum to connect professionals. We’re holding engaging events with relevant topics and ample opportunity to network. We want to support the business endeavors of the present and future supporters of our community,” says incoming co-chair Greg Zittrain. On Oct. 8, Society members had the unique opportunity to visit the North American headquarters of Israeli-owned ZIM Integrated Shipping Services, where they engaged in a luncheon discussion led by Lea Bogatch-Genossar, president, ZIM USA. Participants were fascinated to learn Jeffrey Brooke and Lea Bogatch-Genossar. by Samantha Golden
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about the international shipping industry and the challenges presented by the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) movement and “Block the Boat” campaign. On Nov. 19, the Society joined with medical professionals from the Maimonides Society of the UJFT to hear Virginia’s Lt. Governor Dr. Ralph Northam speak about his combined work as a pediatric neurosurgeon and state politician. More than 75 people attended the event, many staying to greet Northam, ask questions about changing laws or the Virginia Israel Advisory Board, and to further inquire about Northam’s goals during his term. In December, business and legal professionals had the chance to sit down with Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, for a candid discussion on Iran and economic sanctions. This informative luncheon was held at the Davenport & Company Virginia Beach office, which was graciously hosted by Society members David Calliott and Byron Harrell. More than 45 members packed the boardroom to gain an insider’s perspective on nuclear negotiations with Iran from a leading expert. Two other special invitations for Business & Legal members were extended during the winter months. Approximately 50 guests attended a private reception held for visiting U.S. State Department dignitary, Ira Forman, the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. Forman spoke about global Anti-semitism in a timely discussion that coincided with the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo offices in
Paris. The exclusive reception gave members an excellent opportunity to mingle, network and meet Forman personally before attending the main presentation. Business & Legal members participated in a dynamic workshop on family continued on page 20
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Legal continued from page 19
philanthropy with Concierge Philanthropy expert, Judie Fien-Helfman. At this event, co-sponsored by the Tidewater Jewish Foundation, members gained valuable information about trends and opportunities in philanthropic engagement for themselves, their families and their clients. This fall, the Society will launch a
Tidewater Jewish business directory (see article page 25). The Business & Legal Society is now actively planning many exciting programs for next year. Faith Jacobson says, “Our steering committee has a renewed energy to grow the organization and to broaden its reach through a specific focus on engaging new
members and building tangible business strengthen business ties. It’s also outreach, relationships between the professionals a way to introduce more Jewish professionthat reside within the Tidewater Jewish als to each other,” says Zittrain. “We need to build our businesses community. “When we attract new faces and give through each other. Support each other. them a reason to continue to join us at our Do business with each other. Give back to events, it strengthens the mission of the the community. Be leaders. Build lifetime UJFT and ultimately the resources avail- friendships. It’s the best thing we can do able to it through the Annual Campaign,” for ourselves and for our families.” For information or to join the Business she says. “We’re creating a venue for our com- & Legal Society, contact Alex Pomerantz at munity to broaden relationships and email@example.com or 757 965-6136.
Members of the Business & Legal Society and Maimonides Society celebrated summer in style at the Kickoff to Summer Wine Social featuring a Taste of Israel. Guests enjoyed Israeli wines and food pairings while mingling with old and new friends. The event was graciously hosted by Society members Gary and Jessica Kell. A delicious and educational wine tasting experience was presented by Crystal Cameron of Crystal Palate.
20 | Jewish News | June 22, 2015 | Legal | jewishnewsva.org
From surviving first year to winning national award devoted to legal issues in the health care field. Each year, the AHLA recognizes members who have devoted a significant amount of their pro bono Chelsea Rutherford hours to cases involving health law-related issues. Given client emergencies, complex litigation and rapidly emerging industry-wide issues, this is not an easy task. Rutherford is an associate in the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP, and works in the Washington. D.C. office. Rutherford is the daughter of Laine and Palmer Rutherford, III, and the granddaughter of Miriam and Bob Seeherman and Jean and Palmer Rutherford, II.
In the June 2012 Jewish News section, Chelsea Rutherford wrote a first person essay about surviving the first year of law school. She did, indeed, survive, and received her J.D., cum laude, from the Boston University School of Law in 2014, graduating with honors from the health law concentration. Readers will have to wait for the Surviving the First Year as an Associate at a Big Law Firm essay; Rutherford’s entirely too busy—in part because of her caseload, but also because of the many hours of pro bono work she does. Rutherford is one of only 30 attorneys nationwide recently honored as a Pro Bono Champion by the American Health Lawyers Association for 2014. The 13,000 member AHLA is the nation’s largest, nonpartisan, nonprofit, educational organization
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Legal Michael Salasky Firm: Michael Salasky, Attorney-at-Law. Focus of Practice: Representation of injured parties. Education: Tufts University, BA, 1972; The Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William & Mary, JD, 1977. Family: Married to Prue Salasky, journalist; daughters Julia, Charlotte and Vanessa. Favorite Jewish holiday: Passover. For thousands of years it has been the responsibility and privilege of every Jewish household to perpetuate an important holiday. Most memorable Jewish milestone/lifecycle event: The Bat Mitzvahs of my three daughters. Jewish organization involvement: Former member of the boards of directors of the JCC, Cultural Arts Committee, United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Business and Legal Society and Ohef Sholom Temple. Most admired Jewish lawmaker/Judge/Attorney: Natan Sharansky. He spent nine years in the Soviet gulags, much of it in solitary confinement. He emerged an unbroken advocate for human rights. Personal legal milestone: Successfully argued the first case in Virginia holding that taxicab companies are strictly liable for the negligence of their drivers. This put an end to the round robin of finger-pointing when, after an accident, taxicab companies often escaped responsibility by blaming their individual drivers, who were often fired after an accident and could never be located. How does an understanding and/or commitment to Jewish values enter into decisions or actions as an attorney? Hillel said “that which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow man. That is the whole Torah—the rest is commentary.” In dealing with clients, I think this is excellent advice to keep in mind. Just as I would expect the very best efforts from any attorney representing me, I think I owe each one of my clients my very best efforts.
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A memorable case: While fortunate enough to have had many gratifying and rewarding cases, just one interesting case to recollect is this: My client was a school bus driver returning her empty bus to the office. While stopped at a red light, another car came around the corner and struck her bus perpendicularly at the extreme end of the bus. The force of the impact left a small dent in the bus and did not even crack the paint. My client went on to have neck surgery. For many weeks I wondered, how could such a relatively mild impact at one end of the bus produce such a consequential injury at the other end of the bus? Then the answer hit me like a thunderbolt. I hired a physicist from Old Dominion University as an expert witness who agreed with my hypothesis and, after obtaining various measurements from the bus, testified for the plaintiff. We convinced the insurance company that the long school bus would tend to rotate when hit perpendicularly on its side by the rear wheels. But because the center of gravity of the bus would lie closer to the driver, the bus would not “pivot” around two equal sections of length. The center of gravity of the rotating bus would demarcate a “short” segment of the bus on one side of the center of gravity, and a “long” segment of the bus on the other side of the center of gravity. The bus therefore rotated unevenly–just like a lever bar. And a lever bar is a force multiplier. So even a relatively small lateral force at the extreme end of the bus would produce a very large opposing lateral force at the other end of the bus where my client was seated. The physicist in fact calculated a force multiplier of 14 to 1. The insurance company elected to settle the claim for a large sum prior to trial.
Legal Mona Schapiro Flax Firm: Mona Schapiro Flax, P.C.
Judith L. RosenbLatt, P.L.L.C. attoRney & CounseLLoR at Law
Specialty: In Virginia, we are not allowed to “specialize.” However, my emphasis is divorce and family law.
• Family Law • Divorce • Property Settlement • Child Custody • Estate Administration • Guardian ad Litem for Incapacitated Adults
Education: I obtained a BS from University of Florida and my JD for the Marshall Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary. Family: I have been married to Jeff Flax for almost 35 years. He is also an attorney. I have twin sons, Harris, a teacher at Princess Anne High School and Jeremy, who works for Ernst & Young in Washington, DC. Favorite Jewish holiday: Passover. It is the time when all of the family gets together. When it is with my husband’s family in Richmond, it is typically 50 people or more. Jewish organization involvement: There are so many to mention. Earliest: Vice president/MIT Mom for Cotton States Region BBYO and most recent is my appointment to the executive committee of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Women’s Cabinet. Until recently, I was not as involved as I would have liked. I was very involved with Virginia State Bar committees and appointments. I have now come full circle and I am thoroughly enjoying my involvement in the Jewish Community. Most admired Jewish lawmaker/Judge/Attorney: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg as a woman, as a Jew and as a champion of civil rights. I was also mentored by Judge Morris Gutterman in my early years as an attorney. Personal legal milestone: I am fortunate to have many, but one of the most satisfying was being a part of the faculty for the Virginia State Bar Professionalism Course. All recently inducted attorneys are required to participate. Most memorable case: My most memorable case involved the abduction of a 20-month-old child by his mother. He was “underground” in Australia for two years. The day he was found and returned to my client is one I will never forget. He has been living happily ever since with his father and is a senior at UVa.
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Legal David Kamer Firm: Kaufman & Canoles, P.C. Specialties: Estate and tax planning; trust and estate administration; tax exempt organizations; tax exempt finance; immigration. Education: B.A., University of Virginia, with distinction, 1987; J.D., Stanford Law School, 1990; LL.M. (Taxation), University of Florida College of Law, 1997. Family: Wife—Marcia Samuels (we celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary this year); children—Olivia (16) and Leo (12), both graduates of Hebrew Academy of Tidewater and currently attending Norfolk Academy. Favorite Jewish holiday: Passover—an excuse to eat matzo ball soup (my favorite food) every day for a week! The Seders offer the opportunity to be with family and friends, let worldly concerns fall away, eat fantastic food and rekindle the connection to our history and to each other—and I get to sing one of my favorite tunes, Dayenu. “Keeping Passover” for the week also provides a daily reminder of the difficulties we as a people have faced and overcome and of how lucky we are to be American Jews. Most memorable Jewish milestone/lifecycle event: My wedding 20 years ago to my lovely, witty bride, Marcia. Rabbi Ruberg married us at Beth El, where Marcia’s parents (Stanley and Linda Samuels) were also wed. Family and friends (too many of whom I haven’t seen since) came in town for a weekend of celebration and great fun.
Jewish organization involvement: Steering committee of UJFT Business & Legal Society; committee involvement at Beth El; prior service on the board of Beth Sholom Home; supporting Marcia’s much greater involvement of which I am very proud— her presidency and many years of service on the board of Jewish Family Service of Tidewater. Most admired Jewish attorneys: Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld. These guys have dedicated their careers to (and founded the Innocence Project for the purpose of) exonerating the wrongly convicted—people who have no one else to advocate for them. They have been successful too many times, reflecting the injustice that exists in our criminal justice system. Personal legal milestone: Making partner at Kaufman & Canoles. I have the pleasure of working at a well-respected law firm with a great bunch of lawyers—talented, ethical, devoted to their clients, and dedicated to serving the community. Tidewater Mortgage Services’ Fay Silverman, Jeremy Krupnick, and Tami Arnowitz are ready to help guide you through an exceptional mortgage loan process!
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Most memorable case: Each matter has been memorable, but perhaps my best outcome (from an economic perspective) was in an estate tax controversy matter where we were successful in completely eliminating a purported (by the IRS) multimillion dollar estate tax liability. How does an understanding and/or commitment to Jewish values enter into decisions or actions as an attorney? I know I fall short, but I do my best to conduct myself, at work and in my private life, in accordance with my layperson understanding of what Rabbi Hillel meant when he said that the Torah boils down to one concept: “What is hateful to you, do not do to others.” To me, that means, among other things, being honest and ethical, and treating my colleagues, opposing counsel, clients, staff and anyone else with whom I interact with decency and respect.
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he Business & Legal Society is developing its first Tidewater Jewish Business Directory. Organized by profession, it will connect businesses with the Tidewater Jewish community and coincide with UJFTâ€™s mission of supporting Jews locally, in Israel and around the world. The directory will be available on www.JewishVA.org, which attracts more than 90,000 viewers per year. It will also be available in a downloadable format.
Listings in the business directory will be offered as an added, complementary benefit to all incoming and current members of the Business & Legal Society. For more information about the directory and membership in the Business & legal Society, contact Alex Pomerantz at 757-9656136 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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ebrew Academy fifth graders had an exciting learning adventure, stepping back in time to experience life during the Civil War. Students visited Pamplin Historical Park and the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier in Petersburg, Va. A 424-acre historical campus, the complex features museums, antebellum homes, a historic Civil War battlefield, slave life exhibit, educational programs and special events. Students walked through the
earthworks, looking over the battlefields and viewed sites where many significant events occurred that shaped America. The students also toured a home that was turned into army headquarters and other living quarters, and listened intently to the stories of soldiers reenacting life during this time in history. Having just completed their social studies unit and novels on the Civil War, the fifth graders were well prepared to lead the conversation with the tour guide.
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28 | Jewish News | June 22, 2015 | jewishnewsva.org
Pre-K students Nyla Muhlendorf and Elijah Kline at their end of school class pool party.
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it’s a wrap Student art exhibit completes the Holocaust Commission’s 2015 Elie Wiesel competitions are generously supported by TowneBank he Holocaust Commission of the United and the Simon Family Foundation. Entries this year came from 1,400 stuJewish Federation of Tidewater’s successful 2015 Elie Wiesel Visual Arts exhibit dents attending dozens of local schools, came to a close on June 1. The show and from students in states as far away featuring student work was held at the as Wisconsin and Florida. Winners were Old Dominion University Virginia Beach honored at the annual Yom Hashoah commemoration in April; their winning Center for one month. Student winners, their parents and pieces—including essay, poetry, art and teachers from local schools attended an multimedia—can be found online at opening reception on May 6. In addition to www.JewishVA.org/holocaust-elie-wiesel. The Holocaust Commission is currently Abby Ford, seventh grade student at John Yeates Middle winners in the two- and three-dimensional artwork categories, winners of the multi- preparing for its 12th Biennial Educators’ School, in front of her Judges Choice art—Peace for the media division were honored, while their Conference, which for the first time, will Innocent. be open to interwinning films were projected. Phyllis Sperling and Leslie Siegel, the ested community chairs for the visual arts competition, say members, in addithey were impressed by the quality of the tion to all student submissions. Eleven middle schools and advocates. For more inforseven high schools were represented, submitting a total of 236 entries, including a mation about the July 28–29 conference, group of students from Hickory, N.C. The number of entries, combined with and other Holocaust prothe visual excellence, made it difficult Commission for the chairs to choose the pieces to be grams, visit www. included in the exhibit. Eventually, 60 holocaustcommission. pieces were chosen for the show, including org, call 965-6125, or email info@holowinners of the 2015 contest. The Holocaust Commission’s Elie caustcommission.org. Wiesel competitions for students include the visual arts competition, and a writing Lynnhaven Middle School artist Morgan Reich with her Judges Choice photo— competition. These annual competitions
by Elka Mednick
The Circle of Hope.
Larry Siegel, Shaye Arluk, Lynnhaven Middle School multimedia artist Brianna Arluk and Leslie Siegel.
30 | Jewish News | June 22, 2015 | jewishnewsva.org
Dana Cohen, Holocaust survivor, with Lynnhaven Middle School artist Corinna Ensley and her father Pat Ensley.
it’s a wrap Ohef Sholom Temple’s Woodstockley Gardens: a picnic with a 1960s flair
erfect weather, a great crowd, terrific music, delicious food and a wonderful time at “Woodstockley Gardens” combined to make Ohef Sholom Temple’s Congregational Picnic a resounding success. Held on Saturday, May 9 in neighboring Stockley Gardens, the area was decorated to recall the 1960s. After Religious School Awards were presented, Cantor Wally and “friends” took the stage. The audience heard excerpts from the 2015 Purimsphiel, pieces from OST’s Youth Choir, songs from Marilyn and Bob Johns, and a set from local musician David Derring. Amazing face-painters transformed faces and arms. Oversized games such as Jenga, Connect-4 and checkers, were huge (pun-intended) hits, as were the candy necklace table and tie-dye station where guests of all ages made keepsake T-shirts. Hula-hoop teachers even helped those who needed assistance keeping their hoops in the air. The Men’s Club provided delicious picnic fare, and the Icee truck had a consistent line of customers. The afternoon ended with a pet blessing and Havdallah led by Rabbi Roz Mandelberg and Cantor Wally Schacket-Briskin. Slowly, the guests left the park as if they didn’t want a perfect afternoon to end.
Woodstockley Gardens’s amazing team: Rebecca Dorfman, Nichole Kushner, Jasmine Amitay, Visionary Amy Metzger, Alyssa Muhlendorf and Nicole Rosenblum.
Sandi Advocat gets her face painted.
Five delightfully Jewish things from Dr. Ruth’s New York Magazine interview by Gabe Friedman
(JTA) —Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the 87-yearold sex therapist and TV host, has been in the news this month for a controversial statement on sexual consent. However, she’s also been on the interview circuit to promote her new memoir, The Doctor is In: Dr. Ruth on Love, Life, and Joie de Vivre. In a New York Magazine interview, Westheimer reveals some intriguing facts from her book and her Jewish past. • She lost her virginity atop a pile of hay on a kibbutz. • As an orphan after the Holocaust, in which her parents were killed, Westheimer immigrated to what was then the British Mandate of Palestine—which is where this
steamy encounter took place. • She “found solace” with a sexy male nurse during Israel’s War of Independence. • Westheimer trained as a sniper in the Haganah (a precursor to the IDF) for Israel’s War of Independence in 1948. After she was injured in a bombing, one male nurse she met while recovering eased her pain. • Her first love was a boy named Putz. Yes, Putz, as in a Yiddish saying Westheimer paraphrased recently, attributing it to the Talmud: “Ven der Putz shtayt, der saychel gayt,” literally (according to JTA’s unofficial Yiddish translator, author Shulem Deen), “When the penis ‘stands,’ the brains walk out.” She still visits Putz in Israel every year.
• Losing her parents in the Holocaust shaped her views on sex and relationships. “I don’t think sexuality became part of my identity then. But I do believe that my insistence on relationships, on people wanting to have a significant other, that certainly was shaped by that experience,” Westheimer said. • She doesn’t agree with the Jewish psychoanalysis founder Sigmund Freud’s theories about female sexuality. “We certainly know that Freud was wrong,” Westheimer said. “He should have taken a class with me, because he said any woman who doesn’t have a vaginal orgasm is an immature woman. We know that that’s not so.”
jewishnewsva.org | June 22, 2015 | Jewish News | 31
Book Review Local author demonstrates courage The Promise (A Tragic Accident, a Paralyzed Bride, and the Power of Love, Loyalty and Friendship) by Rachelle Friedman Globe Pequot Press, 2014. $24.95
achelle Friedman and Chris Chapman, both from Virginia Beach, met at East
Carolina University in Greenville, N. C., in 2004. Their falling in love would lead to a planned wedding for June 27, 2010, following Chris’ romantic proposal on July 11, 2009. A tragic accident on May 23, 2010 during the bachelorette party with Rachelle’s four close girlfriends present, would so very suddenly interrupt and change the lives of
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all concerned, particularly Rachelle’s. A very active, sports minded woman who enjoyed cheerleading, aerobics, dancing and surfing, Rachelle became permanently confined to a wheel chair. She chose, however, not to be limited, but rather determined to endow her life with new meaning and purpose through assisting others with spinal cord injuries. One of Rachelle’s girlfriends, whose identity has not been revealed in an otherwise very revealing book, playfully, and with no intent whatsoever to hurt Rachelle, pushed her into the swimming pool causing her to break her neck and become quadriplegic. Not revealing the anguished girlfriend’s name was no accident. It was the deliberate outcome of a pack among Rachelle and her intimate girlfriends in order to protect the one friend whose misfortune was to be directly involved in a very unsettling accident. It is reflected in the book’s title, The Promise, the promise made by very special women to each other to never disclose their friend’s name, fearing that she was too vulnerable to withstand the media focus and onslaught, and even be risking suicide. Moreover, it would be unfair to expose one of their own who had no idea of the painful and lasting consequence of her seemingly minor act, given that she already paid a high price of guilt and anxiety attacks, with her life forever affected by what happened to Rachelle. Throughout this truly unique and inspiring account written by a remarkable, mature, courageous and even heroic woman, it becomes clear that inseparably connected to Rachelle is her abiding and loving concern, to the point of obsession, for the anonymous friend’s well-being, aiding Rachelle in her own healing as she reaches out to support her emotionally, deeply wounded friend. “Helping her heal became my mission. Her happiness would be the final piece to mind. I wasn’t healed until she was…I became her spine. I channeled optimism for her. I wanted to save her. I knew I would be fine, but I didn’t know if she ever would be.“ What a moving expression of Rachelle’s altruistic, noble spirit and her principled, loyal bond of friendship! In fact, she turned down an invitation to appear on the Oprah
Winfrey Show that was conditioned on both her and her anonymous friend discussing the theme of forgiveness. However, she would have no lack of coverage, enjoying wide exposure on major media outlets. We should note that the anonymous friend protected Rachelle when she was blamed for trying to financially take advantage of her injury. There is no lack of humor, providing for a measure of helpful laughter to ease the natural stress of such a cumbersome ordeal with an ongoing healing process of ups and downs, as when Rachelle’s wheelchair toppled. The indispensable support Rachelle abundantly received from her husband Chris, her parents, brother and friends has made all the difference and, of course, the fact that Rachelle is far from ordinary, beautiful within and without, before the accident and following it. She is even playing now on an all men rugby team as well as surfing, reflecting a tenacious and triumphant spirit rising to meet a mighty challenge. The provided information from the United Spinal Association is enlightening concerning those who suffer from spinal cord injury, with 1.2 million people worldwide affected by it, and an additional victim every 41 minutes in the United States. The Reading Group Guide at the book’s end is also appreciated. There is much to learn for everyone from this unusual book of honest, dignified and instructive sharing by one who underwent a life-changing experience, not just physically, and who wisely bids us not to take our “simple,” daily blessings for granted. Let us be aware of the precious opportunity for the human factor to make a critical difference, when confronted and challenge by a major adversity that can either defeat us or enable us to grow in ways we could not imagine, through Rachelle’s uplifting example. “While I don’t believe that” everything happens for a reason, ”I believe we can give anything a purpose, even a negative situation. Good things came from my injury because I made the decision for that to happen, not because it was predestined to happen. “ —Rabbi Israel Zoberman is the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Chaverim in Virginia Beach.
what’s happening Channel your “Inner Picasso” at Paint Nite with JFS Sunday, July 19, 4–6 pm, Simon Family JCC
ewish Family Service of Tidewater will host a Paint Nite with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the JFS Helping Hearts project. During the winter holidays, adults who live in local assisted living and nursing homes receive gift bags filled with teddy bears, candy and toiletry items to help brighten their spirits. Last year, more than 1,400 local residents received a holiday gift through the Helping Hearts project. What is Paint Nite? In just about two hours, Paint Nite’s performing artists will
guide participants through the painting process to come up with their own unique masterpiece. Paint Nite staff provides everything: canvas, paints, brushes and even a smock. Participants need only bring fun-loving friends and Paint Nite will make sure “your inner Picasso is unleashed.” The event fee is $45 per person. Register at http://tinyurl.com/ jfspaintnite. No Groupons or other coupons will be accepted for this event. For more information, contact Nikcole Sales at JFS, 757-531-7378.
Tidewater Chavurah to hold Friday Night Service June 26, 7 pm
he Tidewater Chavurah is holding a Shabbat service, led by Rabbi Ellen Jaffe-Gill at the home of Hal and Elaine in the Great Neck Meadows area of Virginia Beach. An Oneg will follow the service. A congregation without walls, events are held in members’ homes or at other locations. Everyone is invited. For more information and location address, email email@example.com or call 468-2675.
Stay calm and Mah Jongg Monday, July 27, 11:30 am
he theme for this year’s Beth Sholom Village’s Annual Janet Gordon Mah Jongg Tournament is “Stay Calm and Mahjong.” This theme is sweeping across the globe as many companies, sporting events and dining establishments are encouraging everyone to relax, stay calm and enjoy the moment. The lunch and tournament will take place at Beth Sholom Village and will include a scrumptious meal, party favors, raffles galore and prizes for the winners. This year’s tournament is chaired by Rachel Abraham and Ellen Mesh with a lot of help from committee members Gail Berger, Leslie Siegel, Wendy Konikoff,
Dana Patish, Rebecca Tall, Marlene Rossen, Jeri Jo Halprin, Charlene Cohen, Ilana Benson and a few more of their friends. Invitations have been mailed and since the day always sells out, make reservations as soon as possible by contacting Claire Roth, development director, at 757‑961‑3024. For those who cannot attend, donations are always welcomed. Beth Sholom Village is appreciative of Daniel Gordon and family for their support in allowing the use of Janet Gordon’s name to promote this wonderful annual event. As always, the net proceeds are used to reduce the shortfall in government reimbursements for the care of BSV’s residents.
Jewish Museum and Cultural Center announces Summer Music Series “Wonderful Wednesdays” Virginia Chorale: Wednesday, July 1 Tidewater Guitar Quartet:Wednesday, July 15
he 7th Annual Summer Music Series, “Wonderful Wednesdays” at the Jewish Museum and Cultural Center offers two evenings of performances in July. The Virginia Chorale, conducted by Charles Woodward, will present an evening of song. The Tidewater Guitar Quartet will perform with members Sam Dorsey, John Boyles, Todd Holcomb and Cliff Morris. All concerts will begin at 7:30 pm. For information and ticket prices, call 391-8266 or visit www.jewishmuseumportsmouth. org. JMCC is located at 607 Effingham St. in Portsmouth.
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Israeli Scouts perform Sunday, June 28, 6:30 pm, Simon Family JCC
xperience Israel with the Tzofim Friendship Caravan, a delegation of Israeli teens who tour the United States and proudly represent their homeland through song, dance and humor. Free and family friendly. Call 321-2338 for more information.
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jewishnewsva.org | June 22, 2015 | Jewish News | 33
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July 1, Wednesday Virginia Chorale at Jewish Museum and Cultural Center. 7:30 pm. For information and ticket prices, call 391-8266 or visit www.jewishmuseumportsmouth.org. JMCC is located at 607 Effingham St. in Portsmouth.
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JULY 5, SUNDAY Brith Sholom’s Annual picnic at Beth Sholom with charcoal grilled hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken wings and all the picnic fare. Bingo will be played with cash prizes. The cost is $7.50 for members and $15 for guests. Reservations and payment must be received by Tuesday, June 30. JULY 15, WEDNESDAY The J.C.C. Senior Club entertainers will be The Hawaiian Style Halau Group Dancers. Some of the dancers were born and raised in Hawaii. Wear crazy Hawaiian shirts; leis will be provided. This is a free luncheon for members only. RSVP to the telephone call or RSVP to President Patsi Walton.
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Seven things about Triple Crown winner American Pharoah—and his Jewish owner
Mazel Tov to
by Gabe Friedman
Achievement Nisana Siman-tov, a member of Kempsville Conservative Synagogue, on being named to The Virginian-Pilot Scholastic Achievement Team for Bayside High School. Dr. Sharon Weinstein, for her second place award in watercolors, for her painting, Flower Whispers, at the Primeplus ArtFest in Norfolk. The exhibit is open through mid-July. BIRTH Danny and Shikma Rubin, who welcomed their first child, Niv Moshe Rubin, on June 1, 2015. Niv was born at Sentara Leigh Hospital in Norfolk. Mom and baby are home and doing great. Niv (an Israeli name pronounced “Neev”) is the grandson of Joel and Sara Jo Rubin of Virginia Beach and Na’aman and Liora Gurvitz of Bethesda, Md. Danny and Shikma (and now Niv, too) are members of Temple Israel. Mazel Tov submissions should be emailed to email@example.com with Mazel Tov in the subject line. Achievements, B’nai Mitzvot, births, engagements and weddings are appropriate simchas to announce. Photos must be at least 300k. Include a daytime phone for questions. There is no fee.
Who Knew? Stephen Curry’s mom says Israel trip transformed her spiritually JERUSALEM ( JTA)—The mother of Stephen Curry, the NBA’s Most Valuable Player, said a trip to Israel five years ago transformed her and sparked her interest in learning Hebrew. Sonya Curry told Israel’s Sport 5 channel in an interview after Game 5 of the NBA Finals in Oakland, California, that her son’s basketball success is a result of “grace and favor.” She added that he was “made for this moment.” Sonya Curry showed the interviewer the Hebrew tattoo on the nape of her neck
that reads “chen,” meaning grace. She said that following a visit to Israel about five years ago, she “was just transformed spiritually.” Curry said she wanted to learn Hebrew because it is the language that Jesus spoke and she wanted to read the Torah in Hebrew. Stephen Curry and his wife have matching tattoos in Hebrew, a translation of a passage from 1 Corinthians 13:8 in the New Testament that translates to “love never fails.”
NEW YORK (JTA)—On Saturday, June 6, a brawny three-year-old colt named American Pharoah took to the Belmont Stakes racetrack and became the first Triple Crown winner since 1978. The win has not only rocked the sports world, but is also a triumphant stand for Ahmed Zayat, an Orthodox Jew from Egypt who is one of the biggest forces in horse racing, but has mostly tasted bitter defeat. Before American Pharoah’s victories last month, Zayat had watched horses he owned finish second in the Kentucky Derby three out of the last four years. In 2012, horses owned by Zayat finished second in each of the three Triple Crown races—the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. In his history-making victory, American Pharoah may have had some Jewish luck in his favor. Jockey Victor Espinoza, who is not Jewish, visited the Lubavitcher rebbe’s grave this month in Cambria Heights, N. Y., in the borough of Queens, where he prayed and presumably asked for good luck. Here are seven things to know about Zayat and his champion stallion. Ahmed Zayat grew up in a wealthy suburb of Cairo, where his father was Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s doctor. As a young teenager, Zayat won the under-12 and under-14 national show jumping championships in Egypt, a once-thriving Jewish community, that today has fewer than 40 Jews. After graduating from Yeshiva University, Zayat worked for the Haredi Orthodox real estate developer Zev Wolfson. Zayat went to college in the United States and then worked for Wolfson, a wealthy real estate entrepreneur and major Jewish philanthropist. He partially made his fortune by selling non-alcoholic malt drinks in Egypt. Zayat returned to Egypt in 1995 and formed an investment group that bought the newly privatized Al Ahram Beverages company. Zayat helped turn the company around by introducing Fayrouz—a non-alcoholic blend of malt, fruit and sparkling
American Pharoah at the 2015 Preakness Stakes.
water—into its line of products. In 2002, Zayat sold the company to Heineken for $280 million. He has the reputation of being a flamboyant, risk-taking gambler and has gotten into financial trouble over the years. In 2009, the Fifth Third Bank of Lexington, Ky., accused him of defaulting on four loans after losing more than $50 million. This month, a different lawsuit against Zayat alleging that he owed a Florida resident $1.65 million was thrown out. “It’s a scam from A to Z. It’s total fiction. It’s a total lie,” he told The Associated Press. Zayat has been millions of dollars in debt on multiple occasions. He donates to Jewish causes. Zayat once donated $500,000 to the Frisch School, a Jewish day school in Paramus, N. J. American Pharoah flies to races in his own plane called Air Horse One. The bay colt, who was born on Groundhog Day in 2012, likes to fly in style and comfort. American Pharoah’s name is a typo. The correct spelling of “pharaoh” reverses the “a” and “o.” According to the Boston Globe, an Arkansas woman suggested the name and spelled it wrong. Zayat’s son Justin, who acts as a manager at Zayat Stables in Hackensack, N. J., didn’t notice the typo at the time.
jewishnewsva.org | June 22, 2015 | Jewish News | 35
obituaries Alan Hirsch Virginia Beach—Alan Richard Hirsch, age 85, passed away June 15, 2015. Born in Newark, N. J. in 1930, he was a resident of Virginia Beach, Va. He graduated from Seton Hall University and married Evelyn in 1953. He served in the Army during the Korean Conflict for almost two years and later worked as an insurance agent for Prudential for more than 50 years, as well as founding his own insurance agency. Mr. Hirsch lived in Verona, N. J. for almost 40 years and was president of his synagogue in Verona and an active member in additional congregations. He was president of his B’nai Brith lodge and active in Hadassah and Jewish Federation. He was a devoted husband to Evelyn, a loving father to Judy, Beth and Edward, and a loving grandfather to 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He was a caring and honest man who was well-respected and much loved. Funeral services were held in
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Congregation Beth El Temple in Norfolk with Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz officiating. Burial followed at Forest Lawn Cemetery. H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Melissa Hoffman Schoen Virginia Beach—Melissa Hoffman Schoen, formerly of Virginia Beach, Va., died December 19, 2014, in her home in Simi Valley, Calif. A native of Norfolk, Missy was the daughter of the late Alan Lewis and Renee Beverly Ornoff Hoffman. She is survived by her husband, Jay Schoen, of Calif., her daughter, Brittany Bell, of Calif., and her sister Allison H. Wilcox and her husband Jason, of Atlanta, Ga.; nieces and nephews, Josh Ahlzadeh, Aaron Ahlzadeh, Alexis Ahlzadeh and Jordan Wilcox. A memorial service celebrating Missy’s life was held at Temple Israel in Norfolk, with Rabbi Michael Panitz officiating. Memorial donations to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation or Alzheimer’s Disease Research. Jerrold G. Weinberg Norfolk—Jerrold G. Weinberg, 87, passed away on Saturday, June 12, 2015 in a local hospital. A native of Norfolk, he was the son of the late Reba Gladstone and Charles P. Weinberg. He was retired as a partner in the Law Firm of Weinberg and Stein. Mr. Weinberg was a graduate of the University of Virginia for both his B. S. degree in commerce and his law degree. He was a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Virginia Law Foundation and the American Bar Foundation. He was listed in Best Lawyers in America for Appellate Law, Bankruptcy Law, Commercial Litigation and Family Law. He was a member of the Virginia State Bar, American Bar Association, Virginia Bar Association, Emeritus Member, Judicial Conference, U.S. Forth Circuit Court of Appeals and a past president of the Norfolk and Portsmouth Bar Association. Survivors include his wife, Ruth H. Weinberg; a daughter, Nancy von Auersperg (Alexander); a son, Andrew Weinberg; a granddaughter, Anna von Auersperg; two grandsons, Alfi von Auersperg and Jack
Weinberg; and a daughter-in-law, Andrea Hyde. He was predeceased by his first wife, Marcia Moress Weinberg and a daughter, Ellen Weinberg. A funeral service was held at Ohef Sholom Temple with Cantor Wally Schachet-Briskin officiating. Burial followed in Forest Lawn Cemetery. H. D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Online condolences may be made at www.hdoliver.com.
Ron Moody, Jewish actor best known for playing Fagin Ron Moody, a British Jewish actor best known for playing a character historically considered an anti-Semitic stereotype, has died at 91. Moody, who played the Jewish criminal Fagin in the stage and film versions of Oliver, an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, died on Thursday, June 11. His film portrayal of Fagin garnered an Oscar nomination and Golden Globe award as best actor. Moody, the son of Russian-Jewish immigrants, went on to a regular role in the BBC show EastEnders and several other major TV programs, including Starsky and Hutch. The New York Times, which described Moody as a “spindly, long-faced man with a prominent nose,” wrote in his obituary that Moody “steered clear of stereotype” in depicting the character Dickens termed a “merry old Jew.” In a 2010 interview with The Jewish Chronicle of London, Moody said, “I couldn’t possibly have played the role if it was seen as anti-Semitic. I knew in my Jewish bones he was a funny character who would get laughs because I played him anarchistically.” The Chronicle reported that being Jewish was “a cornerstone” of Moody’s life. The actor kept kosher “most of his life” and was a member of the New North London Synagogue. He married at age 60 after his then-fiancee, Therese Blackbourn, converted to Judaism. Blackbourn and the couple’s six children survive him. In a 2005 interview with the Times, Moody reflected on being typecast for “Fagin-type roles,” but said, “I’ve no regrets. You take responsibility for your actions. You don’t kvetch. Playing Fagin in the play
obituaries and film was a small miracle.” Moody, whose original last name was
Moodnick, grew up in London and served in the Royal Air Force during World War II. (JTA)
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Bonna Devora Haberman, the founder of Women of the Wall, a group pressing for egalitarian prayer at the Western Wall, has died. Haberman, a Canadian-born scholar, author and activist who lived in Israel and the United States, died Tuesday, June 16 of cancer, The Jerusalem Post reported. Haberman taught at Harvard, Brandeis and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and was the author of Israeli Feminism
Liberating Judaism: Blood and Ink and Rereading Israel: The Spirit of the Matter. In addition to founding Women of the Wall in 1988, Haberman founded and directed Brandeis University’s Mistabra Institute for Jewish Textual Activism and co-directed, with the Palestinian actor-director Kader Herini, an Israeli-Palestinian
community theater project in Jerusalem called YTheater. According to a post placed on Haberman’s Facebook page, she died at her Jerusalem home surrounded by family and friends. She is survived by her husband, Shmuel Browns, and five children. (JTA)
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jewishnewsva.org | June 22, 2015 | Jewish News | 37
TripAdvisor CEO: A tech exec with a soft spot for Israel by Uriel Heilman
NEW YORK ( JTA)—When Stephen Kaufer, the CEO of TripAdvisor, an $11 billion company that runs America’s leading user-generated hotel review website, thinks back to all the places he has visited, one stands out as his favorite. Jerusalem. “Oh my gosh, looking at all of these amazing structures, the history that you could still visually appreciate from thousands of years ago with modern life going on all around it—I just thought it was magical,” Kaufer says of his 1989 visit to Israel. “It instantly turned into my favorite trip then and ever since.” The trip is etched in Kaufer’s memory for another reason: It was the honeymoon he took with his young wife, Caroline Lipson Kaufer. She died in 2005 of pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer at age 42, leaving Kaufer with four young kids to raise on his own. Kaufer, now 52, is not your typical tech company CEO. He’s gray-haired, understated and sounds far more like the droning high school teacher played by Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (Anyone? Anyone?) than the head of a public corporation. Though he runs a travel website, Kaufer doesn’t really suffer from wanderlust, preferring to stay close to his home in the Boston suburb of Newton, Massachusetts. That’s probably a good thing for his family because after he remarried in 2012, he and his wife, Lisa Howe, found themselves with a Brady Bunch-style household: eight kids between the two of them.
After Kaufer sold his company in 2004 for $210 million, instantly transforming him from a middle-class guy to a wealthy 1 percenter, his idea of splurging was to trade in his old clunker for a new Volkswagen Passat, put away money for his kids’ college educations and make several sizable donations to medical research. “I wanted to use the windfall to take care of my family,” Kaufer says. “I don’t fly private jets.” Aside from that Israel visit, the other trip that stands out in Kaufer’s mind—and the one he’s most accustomed to recounting— is the vacation he and Caroline decided to take to Mexico in 1998. In planning for the trip, Kaufer began searching the Internet for objective reviews about a particular hotel, but all he could find was dozens of websites with the same promotional boilerplate and publicity photograph. When he finally unearthed a genuine review by a couple that had stayed at the hotel, Kaufer found their unvarnished perspective—and the uninviting photographs they posted —invaluable. He booked another hotel instead. Caroline, a Harvard Business School graduate and a software executive in her own right, suggested there could be a start-up in matching up travelers with helpful, honest reviews. Kaufer, who recently had sold the software company he co-founded after graduating from Harvard in 1985 with a degree in computer science, was game. In 2000, TripAdvisor was born. Today, the Newton-based company with 2,900 employees features some 225 million user-generated reviews and offers
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direct bookings for hotels, vacation rentals, flights and restaurants. TripAdvisor. com averages 340 million unique monthly users, making it the world’s largest travel site, according to comScore Media Metrix. Though Kaufer sold the company in 2004 to InterActiveCorp, which at the time also owned Expedia, he stayed on as CEO—even after TripAdvisor came under Expedia’s umbrella in 2005 and was spun off from Expedia as an independent public company in 2011. At its initial public offering, TripAdvisor opened at $29 a share. After peaking about a year ago near $110, it’s now trading near $75. The company reported some $1.25 billion in revenue in 2014. The period of acquisitions coincided with tumult in Kaufer’s own life, after his wife died of cancer and Kaufer was forced to lean on friends and family—including his in-laws, who live nearby—for help raising his children, then ages 5, 7, 12 and 13. Kaufer had hired help at home, but he made a point of making it back to the house every night he could to eat dinner with his kids. Kaufer says the Jewish value of leaving the world a better place helps guide his life, even though he can’t remember the Hebrew term for it (tikkun olam). “We try to practice it as a family and as a company,” Kaufer says. He created a charitable program at TripAdvisor that donates 2 percent of all profits to charities suggested by company employees, focusing on groups that help the less fortunate. In 2013, the last year for which records are publicly available, the TripAdvisor Charitable Foundation gave away nearly $2.7 million. Raised in Los Angeles, Kaufer grew up going to a Reconstructionist synagogue, with his family lighting candles on Friday nights and celebrating the major holidays. His father had been raised Orthodox, but Kaufer’s upbringing was more Zionist than observant. He remembers his parents going to Israel shortly before the outbreak of the 1973 Yom Kippur War and returning home with a shovel filled with shrapnel holes as a souvenir from the battlefields of the Golan Heights. Kaufer’s own family belongs to a
Reform synagogue, Temple Beth Avodah in Newton, and his kids’ summer camp of choice is Crane Lake Camp, a Reform movement camp in the Massachusetts Berkshires. His son Harry graduated from Brandeis, the Jewish-sponsored nonsectarian university in suburban Boston, in 2013. Though Kaufer hasn’t been back to Israel since his visit more than 25 years ago, most of his children have, including on Birthright Israel programs and with their grandparents. A daughter is planning on spending this summer there. When Kaufer does travel, he says he always tries to write hotel reviews—and stay incognito so the hotels don’t give him any special treatment. “Hoteliers can get unnecessarily nervous if they hear I’m coming,” Kaufer says. “To be clear: Yes, I write reviews like all their other guests, but my review doesn’t count any more than anyone else’s—at all.” The competitive landscape for TripAdvisor has become more intense as Google and other tech giants have crept into travel. Competitors include Booking. com, Priceline and Yelp. But Kaufer says he tries to keep a few steps ahead by constantly innovating – and not paying attention to the daily stock price. “We’re all doing things to constantly change our business models,” Kaufer says, noting that the site expanded last year to offer instant bookings. “But maybe somebody will get your customers anyway,” he shrugs. If he ever were forced out of TripAdvisor, Kaufer says, he’d probably pursue something in the medicinal life sciences. He has special interest in cancer (after his wife’s death he established the Stephen and Caroline Kaufer Fund for Neuroendocrine Research) and multiple sclerosis, which sent his mother to a wheelchair from the time Kaufer was 13. “With TripAdvisor, it’s pretty cool to have been able to affect in a positive way so many people’s vacations, and to help a huge number of independent businesses that have great products or services for travelers,” Kaufer says. “But it’s not curing cancer.”
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jewishnewsva.org | June 22, 2015 | Jewish News | 39
Wilks, Alper, Harwood & McIntyre, P.C. is pleased to announce that
has become a member of the firm. Kathryn Psimas McIntyre, named a partner in January 2015, has been with the firm since 2003. She works primarily on commercial real estate transactions. Kathryn earned her undergraduate degree from the College of William and Mary and her law degree from the University of Richmond. Along with her husband Wes, they are joyfully raising two beautiful children, Jay Wilks, Kathryn McIntyre, Susan Alper and Steve Harwood
Lucas and Olivia.
Wilks, Alper, Harwood, & McIntyre, P.C. (757) 623-6500 150 Boush St., Suite 700 | Norfolk, VA 23510 40 | Jewish News | June 22, 2015 | jewishnewsva.org