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WASHINGTON ( JTA)—An off-the-record speech by Israel’s ambassador to Washington noting gaps in support for Israel between Republicans and Democrats drew rebukes from the liberal wing of the pro-Israel community, accusing Ron Dermer of politicizing support for Israel. Dermer was addressing a Republican Jewish Coalition leadership meeting in Washington, D.C., earlier this month. The Republican Jewish Coalition tweeted paraphrased portions of his address. “There has been, for 40 years, a gap between Republicans and Democrats in their support for Israel,” one tweet said. “He notes that this predates, by decades, Trump, Netanyahu, Obama and any other reason that Democrats would cite.” Democrats have been more pronounced in recent years in their criticisms of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, arising in part from his tensions with President Barack Obama and his closeness to President Donald Trump. A nadir was Netanyahu’s speech to Congress in 2015 opposing Obama’s Iran policy, which Dermer helped organize without consulting Democrats. In another tweet, Dermer said that “a big reason for this has been the enormous rise in support for Israel among Republicans. However, there is a rise in the American left-wing of anti-Israel sentiment. These are the same people that don’t believe America is a force for good.” A source present in the room said RJC was filtering an unexceptional speech through a partisan filter. Dermer’s speech, the source said, was no different than remarks he delivered earlier this month at the American Jewish Committee. At the AJC, Dermer emphasized that Democratic support for Israel has remained steady while Republican support has skyrocketed. “Most of the increase in the gap is not coming from a decline in support among Democrats, it’s actually coming from an atmospheric rise in support among Republicans for Israel,” he said at the time.
Dermer, speaking at the AJC, suggested that blame in part lay with Israel and pro-Israel messaging to progressives. “I think Israel is the only source for progressive values in the Middle East,” he said. “What Israel has to do is to continue to engage, continue to reach out.” Dermer at the American Jewish Committee and Republican Jewish Coalition cited Gallup polling since the late 1980s that shows support for Israel among Democratic voters hovering steadily between the low 40s and the high 50s in percentages, while GOP voters have spiked from the same range in the late 1980s and now run from the upper 70s to the upper 80s. The RJC soon deleted the tweets, but a number of liberal Jewish groups had already reacted, or subsequently reacted when the Jewish Telegraphic Agency posted a summary of the tweets. “Politicizing U.S. support of Israel is not in the interest of either country, and this statement is patently untrue,” Halie Soifer, the director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, said on Twitter. “Dems remain strongly supportive of the U.S.-Israel relationship.” The embassy did not respond to a request for comment, although Dermer posted to Twitter the excerpt from his AJC appearance. “On bipartisan support for Israel,” the tweet said. Soifer also pointedly posted quotes from a speech that Dermer had made when the Jewish Democratic Council launched in 2017, including “there is very strong support for Israel in the Democratic Party” and “you cannot fly a plane with one wing.” For added measure, she posted a photo of Dermer addressing the group. Michael Koplow, the policy director for the Israel Policy Forum, which backs a two-state solution, said there had indeed been a gap, but cited a Pew Research Center analysis to show that it had been exacerbated by Netanyahu’s relationships with Obama and Trump.
Senate unanimously condemns anti-Semitism with resolution co-introduced by Senator Tim Kaine Ron Kampeas
WASHINGTON ( JTA)—The Senate unanimously approved a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, the latest congressional bid to address an issue that has roiled American politics. The resolution passed Thursday, June 13 was introduced by Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Tim Kaine, D-Va. It lists a number of classic anti-Semitic slanders and prohibitions on freedoms imposed on Jews overseas and in the United States. It also alludes to recent deadly attacks on U.S. synagogues. “Jews are the targets of the majority of hate crimes committed in the United States against any religious group, including attacks on houses of worship and Jewish community centers,” the resolution says. Notably, the text avoids hot-button issues that members of each party have
used to depict the other as susceptible to anti-Semitism. It does not mention anti-Israel bias, which Republicans have cited in criticizing Democrats, nor does it mention white supremacists and the support that has accrued to President Donald Trump from that movement, which Democrats often cite. “This is a topic that could be used for partisanship, that one side could point at things that folks on the other side said that they didn’t like,” Kaine said in remarks on the floor, after citing a number of anti-Semitic and white supremacist attacks in his state, including on a Jewish school and a Jewish community center. “Senator Cruz and I talked about that but we realized that this is too important an issue to get bogged down in partisan politics.” Cruz in his remarks nonetheless cited a controversy earlier this year, when a House resolution condemning
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anti-Semitism, prompted by remarks by Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., that were seen as anti-Semitic, was expanded to condemn anti-Muslim bias and other prejudices. “This resolution was also prompted unfortunately by the inability of the House of Representatives to come together and vote on a resolution straightforwardly and directly condemning anti-Semitism,” he said. “Too many in political life have given into the extremes, including the embrace of boycotts and at times outright hatred for Israel, the world’s only Jewish state.” William Daroff, the Washington director of the Jewish Federations of North America, lauded the passage. “By calling out the long history of discrimination and acts of hatred directed against the Jewish people,” he said, “the Senate has taken a concrete step towards standing up for our community and fighting the scourge of antisemitism.”
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Six Israeli universities ranked among the world’s top 1,000 Marcy Oster
JERUSALEM (JTA)—Six Israeli universities appeared on the list of the top 1,000 higher education institutions in the world. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem was ranked Israel’s best university in the QS World University Rankings for 2020, coming in at 162nd, eight spots
lower than last year. Tel Aviv University finished at 219th, rising 11 spots from last year, and The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology was 257th, falling 10 places. Ben-Gurion University finished at 419, falling from 407. Others noted were Bar-Ilan University in the 551-560 range, up from 601-650 last year, and University of Haifa, repeating its
About the cover: John Strelitz, immediate past president, Amy Levy, president, and Laura Gross, president-elect UJFT’s Biennial Meeting. Photograph by Mark Robbins.
Upfront. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Briefs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Who is running Israel between elections?. . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Shtisel-mania . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Amy Levy installed at UJFT Biennial Meeting. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Shalom Baby comes to UJFT . . . . . . 10 Special Section: Senior Living . . . . . 11 Toras Chaim honors the Lefcoes. . . 23
YAD’s Beachside Social. . . . . . . . . . . Tribe 757. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Temple Lev Tikvah opens. . . . . . . . . What’s Happening . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Who Knew?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Obituaries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Eric Fingerhut to lead JFNA. . . . . . . JFS Organ Donation program. . . . . . Emerging Philanthropists. . . . . . . . .
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651-700 ranking from a year ago. The top three universities on the list are the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford and Harvard. The universities are evaluated based on academic reputation, employer reputation, faculty/student ratio, citations per faculty, international faculty ratio and international student ratio.
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BRIEFS Abramovich gives $5 million to combat anti-Semitism Russian-Jewish billionaire businessman Roman Abramovich is donating $5 million to the Jewish Agency to combat anti-Semitism. It is the largest donation the Jewish Agency has ever received from one donor to fight anti-Semitism, Israel Hayom reported. Abramovich, owner of the Chelsea soccer team in the British Premier League, became an Israeli citizen in May 2018. His team began its own anti-Semitism initiative last year, including sending players to visit Auschwitz. The Jewish Agency has an international unit that works to combat anti-Semitism. Abramovich and American billionaire businessman Robert Kraft also have teamed up with their soccer teams to promote tolerance and awareness. (Kraft owns Major League Soccer’s New England Revolution in addition to the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots of the National Football League.) Abramovich’s wealth is estimated to be about $13 billion, and he has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to Jewish causes mostly in Russia and Israel, and some $2 billion more overall, according to reports. (JTA) Lawsuit: Canada’s federal election falls on a Jewish holiday A Jewish candidate in Canada’s federal election and a Jewish voter have filed a lawsuit asking to change the voting day because it falls on a Jewish holiday. Shemini Atzeret comes out this year on Election Day, Oct. 21, which would prevent observant Jews from casting their ballots. Of the four advance polling days, three are on other Jewish holidays or Shabbat. The lawsuit, called an application, was filed in federal court and asks that the election date be changed to Oct. 28. Chani Aryeh-Bain, the Conservative Party candidate for the Toronto-area district of Eglington-Lawrence, and voter Ira Walfish of York Centre, also a Torontoarea district, filed the suit claiming that the election date discriminates against observant Canadian Jews.
Aryeh-Bain is an observant Jew and therefore would not be able to campaign on Election Day, the lawsuit says. Both York Centre and EglintonLawrence are represented by Liberal Party members who defeated Jewish Conservative incumbents in the last election, according to the Canadian Jewish News. Canada’s 2008 federal election fell on the first day of Sukkot. “There should have been no need for this litigation,” said Michael Mostyn, chief executive officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “The Chief Electoral Officer has the discretion to shift election day to avoid ‘a day of cultural or religious significance’ under Section 56.2(1) of the Elections Act, but he has inexplicably failed to take that entirely logical step.” Shemini Atzeret falls at the end of the week of Sukkot. (JTA)
Orthodox Union launches national kosher food pantry Kosher-observant Jews in need now have a national resource to find low-cost or free food. The Kosher Food Lifeline, a food pantry resource center, is a new division of the Orthodox Union designed to help the at least 215 food agencies in 24 states that provide food to individuals and families. It offers assistance to programs with procurement, distribution, government grants, and other logistical support. Kedem, which focuses on kosher, gluten free and all-natural foods, provided a $200,000 grant to launch the inaugural program in advance of Passover this year. More than 150,000 pounds of kosherfor-Passover food was distributed to 53 partner organizations, who delivered it to communities in nearly 20 states, supporting over 17,000 Jewish families in need. Reasons for food access challenges vary, according to the O.U. They include economic barriers and limited supply, as well as limited mobility for individuals. “This is the first time a national program, at this scale, has addressed the needs of kosher food pantries, many of which are run by hard-working volunteers with limited resources,” said the Kosher Food Lifeline’s founding director, Allison
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Deal. “By coordinating purchases and helping corporate food donors to direct donations where they are needed, we can increase efficiency, eliminate waste, bring prices down, and hopefully, help these agencies provide more nutritious, protein-rich kosher food to those who need it most.” (JTA)
Theresa May in letter praises Jewish community Outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May in a parting letter praised the Jewish community for its “extremely important” contributions to society. “My support for the community will continue in the years to come,” she also wrote in the letter to the Board of Deputies of British Jews. The letter was written in response to one sent to May in the wake of her resignation as prime minister, as well as Conservative Party leader, earlier this month. It was quoted extensively in the London-based Jewish Chronicle. “It has been a privilege to attend so many significant communal events in recent years…from meeting communal leaders and celebrating Jewish festivals in Downing Street to safeguarding the security of British Jews and ensuring a lasting commitment to Holocaust commemoration and education,” May wrote. “We are determined to ensure communities feel safe and that people in their places of worship feel secure,” she also wrote, adding the government had spent nearly $64 million to date protecting Jewish schools and places of worship. May also lauded the Board of Deputies for “fostering good relations between British Jews and those of other faiths so as to improve understanding and friendship.” The board hailed May as a “true friend” to the Jewish community. (JTA) Father of Jewish Sandy Hook massacre victim wins lawsuit against denial authors The father of a Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre won a defamation lawsuit against the authors of a book that denied the 2012 shooting took place. Lenny Pozner, whose six-year-old
son Noah was the youngest victim in the attack by a lone gunman at the Connecticut school, filed the suit against the publisher Moon Rock Books and the authors of Nobody Died at Sandy Hook. The publisher said it would no longer sell the book. It is one of at least nine cases with Pozner, who is Jewish, as the lead plaintiff against those who deny the school massacre took place. The suits have been filed in federal and state courts in Connecticut, Florida, Texas and Wisconsin. A Wisconsin judge ruled Monday, June 17 that Pozner had been defamed by authors James Fetzer and Mike Palacek. A trial to decide damages has been set for October. The book claimed, for example, that Noah’s death certificate had been faked and the child in fact never existed, and that Pozner and the parents of the other victims were crisis actors. “My face-to-face interactions with Mr. Pozner have led me to believe that Mr. Pozner is telling the truth about the death of his son,” Dave Gahary, the principal officer at Moon Rock Books, said in a statement. “I extend my most heartfelt and sincere apology to the Pozner family.” Pozner, joined by other parents of Sandy Hook victims, filed a lawsuit last year against radio talk show host Alex Jones, host of the conspiracy-driven Infowars website, for continuing to insist that the attack never occurred. (JTA)
Jewish woman hit in head with metal ball outside of Paris synagogue A 79-year-old Jewish woman was wounded outside a Paris synagogue from a metal ball hurled at her head. The victim of the attack Tuesday, June 18 in the French capital’s 11th district was taken to hospital with some cranial damage and loss of blood. Her condition was stable, France Bleu reported. Witnesses outside the synagogue said they did not see from where the ball was hurled or by whom. On Monday, June 17, a bowl full of water was hurled, possibly from an elevated residential apartment, at worshipers leaving the same synagogue. (JTA)
Who’s running the show in Israel between elections? An explainer. Marcy Oster
JERUSALEM (JTA)—With Israel coming up on its second election in five months with no ruling coalition in power, some may be asking who is actually running the government. They needn’t worry—at least not very much. Israelis went to the polls in April expecting to elect a new government. The incumbent prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, seemed to be in position to form a majority coalition out of the 120 seats handed out by voters. The 21st Knesset was sworn in on April 30. However, he failed to attract enough coalition partners on the right. In order to prevent the possibility of the center-left Blue and White party headed by former military chief of staff Benny Gantz from being tasked with forming a government, Netanyahu moved to dissolve the newly elected parliament. On May 30, just minutes after midnight, the Knesset voted to dissolve itself and opt for another election. That Knesset had lasted for only 51 days and managed to pass one piece of legislation: the bill that ended its record-short tenure. So, with the parliament dissolved, who’s running the show? Transitional Knessets In Israel’s parliamentary democracy, Knesset elections are held every four years—unless the body votes to dissolve itself and move to new balloting. That happened in late December, several months early. Between then and the April elections, Israel was led by a “transitional” government. And here we are again. With a new vote now scheduled for Sept. 17, and the likelihood that it will take another six weeks to form a majority coalition, Israel will have been led by a “transitional” government for nearly one year, making it possibly the longest transitional government in the country’s history. But that doesn’t mean there is a vacuum. That’s because Israel has its Basic Laws, which together form a de
facto constitution. The Basic Laws deal with issues including the government, the presidency, the military, the judiciary, “human dignity and liberty” Benjamin Netanyahu. and Jerusalem. The Basic Law on the Government accounts for dissolving and reforming parliaments due to, for example, a no-confidence vote, dissolution, the conviction of a prime minister for an unnamed offense or the death of a prime minister. A transitional government has the same authority as a regular government. “There is a government and she has all the authority to function,” according to Amir Fuchs, the head of the Defending Democratic Values Program of the Israel Democracy Institute. However, he cautions, there are limits. The current Knesset, Fuchs says, “is essentially one of a ‘double’ transitional government—it is both a ‘post-election’ government prior to the formation of a new government, and also a ‘pre-election’ government”’ heading into the September elections. Over the years, the Israeli Supreme Court has ruled that while a transitional government should continue to run the country on a day-to-day basis, it should only announce new initiatives that are “important or necessary,” Fuchs says. Netanyahu is still in charge Since the dissolution of the 21st Knesset, Netanyahu has fired two government ministers—Shaked (Justice) and Naftali Bennett (Education)—and appointed several new ministers, which he still has the authority to do under the Basic Law. Shaked and Bennett had remained in their ministerial positions even though they were not re-elected in April. They could have stayed in the posts until the September vote had Netanyahu not fired them, saying they clearly had lost the confidence of the people who did
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not re-elect them. Pundits, however, say Netanyahu wanted to lower the profile of his two right-wing rivals in a new election campaign. Netanyahu earlier this month replaced Shaked with loyalist Amir Ohana. He gave the Foreign Ministry portfolio, which he had been holding himself since the formation of the government in May 2015, to Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz. On Monday, June 17, he named Union of Right-Wing Parties head Rafi Peretz to fill Bennett’s education slot and the same union’s Bezalel Smotrich as transportation minister. He also reportedly will add members to the high-level Security Cabinet. Only Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel of the Jewish Home party remains in the Cabinet as a hold-over from the 20th Knesset. He was not re-elected in April. Jonathan Rynhold, a political studies professor at Bar-Ilan University, said that while firing a government minister between elections is “legitimate, it just doesn’t smell quite right.” Rynhold noted that each ministry is staffed with career civil servants and that during an interim period such as the current one, they may operate with “some more leeway than normal.” The prime ministership has its advantages Netanyahu’s firing and appointing of new ministers does not look like a leader who is trying not to rock the boat, says Gayil Talshir of the Department of Political Science at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The moves are “making a lot of noise in the system,” she says. Talshir suggests that Netanyahu might have held on to the justice minister’s portfolio had he not been reprimanded for keeping it while under the threat of indictment in three corruption cases against him. He continues to hold the title of defense minister, but could potentially give it up if he thinks the move could help him form a coalition government following the September election—one “he is sure he is actually going to win,” she says. Netanyahu is using his time at the head of the transitional government to attempt
to delegitimize his opponents, Talshir says, in particular the Yisrael Beiteinu party headed by Avigdor Liberman, who Netanyahu blames for the failure to form a government after the April elections. Talshir says Netanyahu is working “to make sure that come the new election he has a stronger coalition which is loyal to him personally and not an ideal.” While Netanyahu hopes that Yisrael Beiteinu will fail to cross the electoral threshold in September, the party is polling at about eight seats, up from the five it won in April. Meanwhile, Talshir says, the announcement of across-the-board budget cuts to government ministries in a bid to halt the growing state deficit is an example of a major policy decision that should not be implemented during a transitional government. It’s not exactly business as usual So how does the interim status of the government affect Israel right now? Some examples: The authority of the new government ministers will be limited by their inexperience and by the high court’s previous rulings about not making drastic changes. The country’s chief of police stepped down in December, less than a month before the 20th Knesset dissolved. The spot will continue to remain unfilled— actually filled by an interim chief—until well after the September elections. The government will not be able to start negotiating a new budget for 2020, nor will it be able to make any decisions about economic reform. The government cannot even make a final decision on establishing the new Golan Heights community of Ramat Trump, which it dedicated this month, until a permanent government is in place. “We are kind of stuck,” Fuchs says. “It’s a wasted year.” This, he says, is the “real cost of the new election.” Bar-Ilan’s Rynhold agrees. The current Knesset lawmakers “continue to run the country,” he says. “What they can’t do is pass laws.”
What the popularity of Shtisel tells us about the non-Orthodox majority Daniel Treiman
NEW YORK (JTA)—Would the builders of New York’s Temple Emanu-El ever have imagined that their congregation’s sanctuary would one day be packed to the balconies with thousands of devout followers of a black-hatted Orthodox rabbi and his family? That was the scene this month when the citadel of high Reform Judaism on Manhattan’s Upper East Side was overtaken by Shtisel-mania. Fans of the Israeli TV series about the day-to-day dramas of a haredi—that is, ultra-Orthodox—family in Jerusalem filled the Fifth Avenue synagogue to see the show’s three stars discuss their surprise Netflix-streamed hit. Demand was so intense that the organizers—EmanuEl’s Streicker Center, The Jewish Week Media Group and UJA-Federation of New York—added a second night when the first quickly sold out. Some 4,600 attended over the two nights, according to the event’s sponsors. The Shtisel stars had just come from two events in Los Angeles and would soon head to another synagogue event in New Jersey. Wherever they went, excited fans followed, some flying in from far away to hear from their small-screen heroes. The first night at Temple Emanu-El, the three Shtisel actors—Dov Glickman, who played family patriarch Shulem Shtisel; Michael Aloni, who played his son Akiva; and Neta Riskin, who played daughter Giti—and show producer Dikla Barkai seemed as surprised as anyone at their show’s success, marveling at the crowd of thousands assembled before them. They recounted their more modest initial expectations for the show. Aloni said that Shtisel did not exactly have the hallmarks of an international hit: There were no sex or car chases. “We all shared this feeling that we were doing something great that no one would watch,” he said. Yet this quiet show about private family dramas in Jerusalem’s insular haredi community made a big splash. In
Israel, where Shtisel first aired in 2013, its popularity bridged the secular-religious divide. Its two seasons cleaned up at the Israeli Television Academy awards, while TV-less haredi Jews found ways to watch avidly and surreptitiously. But it wasn’t until Netflix picked up the show in December that Shtisel got a second life as an international sensation. Now there are plans for a third season (though the show’s producers might need to work out a deal with the Israeli Actors’ Association over sharing overseas sales revenue) and also for an American version set in Brooklyn. The popularity of Shtisel first became apparent to me when I realized that everyone in my tiny Orthodox shul seemed to be watching it. But I didn’t fully appreciate what a phenomenon the show had become until a nonreligious friend who is uninvolved in organized Jewish life told me that Shtisel was one of the only shows she had watched in the past two years. Shtisel fandom is not a parochial allegiance. Look no further than a 13,000-member Facebook group devoted to the show, where fans probe the show’s depths and obsess over its minutiae, from analyzing its handling of bereavement to gushing over Aloni’s good looks. To what does Shtisel owe its popularity? For starters, it’s just excellent TV: superbly written, well-acted, with compelling characters and rich story lines. There’s also, no doubt, a certain voyeuristic appeal: an opportunity to gaze into a mysterious and cloistered world. For many Jewish viewers, I suspect, curiosity about our haredi kin is a significant part of the show’s attraction. We non-haredi Jews can appreciate that haredim are connected to us, that they are, in some sense, our mishpocha. Yet our connection to the haredi world is attenuated by a profound religious chasm. Shtisel allows us to bridge that divide. That’s because the show’s themes are deeply relatable: love, longing, loss, fidelity and infidelity, filial and parental responsibility, conformism and rebellion, and dreams, both chased and crushed.
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Shtisel is fundamentally about its characters’ relationships played out within the confines of their community. The outside world intrudes only sparingly— the American soap operas enjoyed by Shulem’s mother, much to her pious son’s dismay; the overheard roar of a military air show on Israeli Independence Day; the “damned evil people,” a phrase invoked by Shulem’s brother Nuchem. Even Akiva, whose dream of a career as a painter is scorned by his father—a religious scholar with a low regard for any arts that are not culinary—but encouraged by a secular patron, keeps the
nonreligious world at arm’s length. While Shtisel is a show about a haredi family, Judaism is not the show’s subject. It is, rather, the show’s context. Every aspect of the Shtisels’ everyday lives is suffused with Jewishness, from the way the characters dress to the way they greet one another to the blessings they utter before they take a sip of water. Most American Jews live lives that are not so different from those of our non-Jewish neighbors. For us, Jewishness is more of a subject than a context. We need to act to be Jewish. On Shisel, they need to simply be.
jewishnewsva.org | June 24, 2019 | Jewish News | 7
it’s a Wrap
Amy Moss Levy assumes Federation presidency at biennial meeting
he installation of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s new president and a recap of the year’s highlights were among the items that took place during the 2019 Biennial Meeting on Thursday, June 13. The event at the Sandler Family Campus began with a cocktail reception and concluded with the presentation of awards. After making remarks about
his term, UJFT outgoing president John Strelitz installed Amy Moss Levy as the new president, who presented her vision for her term in a brief speech. Together with Betty Ann Levin and Harry Graber, Strelitz presented a variety of Leadership and Community Awards. Incoming and outgoing board members were also acknowledged. M ark Robbins P hotography
John Strelitz and Laura Gross.
John Strelitz and Linda Spindel.
Eliot Weinstein and John Strelitz.
Barbara Dudley and John Strelitz.
Robin Mancoll, Betty Ann Levin, and Harry Graber.
2019 UJFT Biennial Awards Outgoing Committee Chair Awards Laura Gross, Annual Campaign Barbara Dudley, Israel & Overseas Lisa Bertini, Holocaust Commission Janet Mercadante, Women’s Campaign Jeremy Krupnick, Super Sunday Eliot Weinstein, Young Adult Division John Strelitz and Jason Capossere.
John Strelitz and Lisa Bertini.
8 | Jewish News | June 24, 2019 | jewishnewsva.org
Jason Capossere, Special Security Appreciation
Special Awards Danny Rubin, Leonard R. Strelitz Young Leadership Award Linda Spindel, Joseph H. Strelitz Community Service Award Robin A. Mancoll, Harry Graber Award for Outstanding Achievement in Jewish Communal Service
Judith Anderson, Bootsie Goldmeier, Annabel Sacks, and Joan Johnson.
Connie Jacobson and Burton Moss.
Marcia Moss, Kim Crawley, Amy Levy, Pam Blais, Sarah Blais, Sophie Levy, and Burton Moss.
Ben Simon, Rabbi Roz Mandelberg, and John Strelitz.
Rabbi Sender Haber.
Darcy Bloch and Leora Drory.
Linda and Ron Spindel.
Jay Klebanoff and David Brand.
Amy Weinstein, Linda Spindel, Barbara Dudley, and Ellen Wagner.
Caren and Steve Leon.
Ellen Wagner, Cantor Jen Rueben, Bill Wagner, and Terri Denison.
Alan and Beverly Frieden.
Ann and Bobby Copeland.
jewishnewsva.org | June 24, 2019 | Jewish News | 9
LOCAL RELATIONSHIPS MATTER MEET:
“We have to provide exceptionally good care of our residents and give back to the community. That’s one of the reasons we encourage our staff to participate in supporting organizations such as the Alzheimer’s Association. We have over 300 people on our staff who work, live and shop in our community. These people touch the lives of so many families and friends of our residents and they strive to make all these people feel a part of the Beth Sholom Village.”
“Using Payday has been awesome. My CFO loves working with them. Before I arrived in 2008 we did our own payroll. Our system was so outdated we couldn’t do updates. Then we switched to Payday and everything became easy. There’s so much to know about payroll and there are constant changes such as Obamacare and employee classification that need expert knowledge. I rely on Payday to know all that and to educate me on what I need to know. That alone is a tremendous value added we get from using them.”
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Tidewater First Person
The newest kid in town: Shalom Baby Carly Glikman
am so excited to announce the birth, pun intended, of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s new initiative, Shalom Baby! When I gave birth to my son, Yuvi, two years ago, I was living in North Carolina in a new city and didn’t know a single person. Luckily, my local Jewish Federation had their own version of Shalom Baby. A few weeks after Yuvi was born, a care package arrived on my door step. Not only did it have fun Jewishrelated items for me to use with Yuvi, but it put me in touch, and the Federation, with me. Now, I was in! As a new mom, in a new city, I was starving for places to go with Yuvi to interact with other Jewish moms. I was so lucky to have been given the gift of this basket and their care. It informed me of what was happening around the community for moms of young babies. I spent his first few months at local mommy and me’s, PJ library story times, and creating a mom tribe. Six months later, my family moved to Tidewater and Strelitz Early Childhood Education Center became our new lifeline. But, I couldn’t help but think what we would have done if I didn’t start working at UJFT and put Yuvi in the wobbler room. So, now that I have been given the green light to bring Shalom Baby to Virginia Beach, I want to shout from the roof tops, “MOMS: I’ve got you! WE are here for you!” Shalom Baby is for new moms, second time moms, adoptive moms, new to the area, or people who have lived here all their life. Every mom could benefit from
a support system and learn about what’s happening in the community so we can better navigate through this journey of Jewish motherhood. New parents just have to sign up on the UJFT website. Three to six weeks after the baby has arrived, moms will receive a care package. Each care package will include a mezuzah, tzedakah box, PJ library goodies, a folder plugging the moms into all of the baby activities happening in our community, and much more. I am so passionate about this initiative and encourage all to spread the word to any expecting mama they know. This was my lifeline after giving birth and every woman deserves to have the support of Tidewater’s Jewish community. Register at https://federation.jewishva.org/shalom-baby. For additional information, contact Carly Glikman at CGlikman@ujft.org.
Carly, Chen, and Yuvi Glikman.
10 | Jewish News | June 24, 2019 | jewishnewsva.org
g n i r v o i i L n Se
Supplement to Jewish News June 10, 2019 jewishnewsva.org | June 24, 2019 | Senior Living | Jewish News | 11
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ast year, Hadassah focused practically an entire issue of its magazine on ‘The Art of Aging.’ The idea being, of course, that age is just a number.
It’s possible, according to nearly every article in that issue, to ‘grow older,
without getting old.’ Who wouldn’t appreciate that philosophy? I certainly subscribe to it. Our articles in this section reflect the same notion as Hadassah’s—even for the oldest of seniors, our senior seniors. Check out the photo on page 17, for example, taken at Beth Sholom Village’s Annual Senior Prom. Never too old to be stylish! And, as long as we’re talking about BSV, Abby Friedman says you’re never too young to volunteer or shop there. The article about The Village Boutique is also on page 17. Those on their way to “senior life” most often say that other than health, financial concerns always manage to top the list of worries. For some though, the challenge is to find the best way to give money away. Two articles (Pages 14 and 20) offer suggestions. Got some time? Simon Family JCC offers a plethora of activities…from trips and holiday celebrations to book clubs and fitness classes and apparently everything in between. Being a senior at the JCC has lots of options. Page 16. And, what would a senior section in Jewish News be without everyone’s
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favorite, Ruth Bader Ginsburg? She just received another award, this one from MTV. You see, age really doesn’t matter! Page 20. Our advertisers offer all sorts of services—from keeping seniors (everyone, really) physically, as well as financially healthy, and seeing and hearing well, to comfortable places to live. All good ideas. Live well…whatever your stage!
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About the cover: Seniors exercise at the Simon Family JCC with Nadav Meirson. Photo by Deni Budman.
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jewishnewsva.org | June 24, 2019 | Senior Living | Jewish News | 13
Senior Living The perks of turning 70½ How an IRA Charitable Rollover gift can reduce taxes Kaitlyn Oelsner
or those age 70½ or older who want to make a lasting impact on Tidewater’s Jewish community, an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) Charitable Rollover might be worth considering. This special giving option helps tap into an asset that may not be needed all or part of and offers significant tax advantages. The result is an easy, taxsavvy gift that has the potential to help individuals make a larger philanthropic impact than previously thought possible. An IRA Charitable Rollover (also known as a Qualified Charitable Distribution or QCD) is a withdrawal from an individual retirement account that is sent directly to a qualified public charity. A primary benefit of this option
is that it keeps those funds out of the donor’s adjusted gross income (AGI). Many things are tied to AGI, including taxation of social security benefits and Medicare premiums. This giving option has been available since 2006, but recent changes in how deductions function on federal tax returns have made it even more beneficial, making it a hot topic for financial advisors and donors looking to maximize their philanthropic impact in a tax-wise manner. Historically, donors who give large amounts to an organization would itemize their deductions. Under the new tax law, many are often better off using the new and much larger standard deduction. However, by not itemizing, they get no tax benefit from their philanthropic gifts.
With recent changes in the tax law, IRA Charitable Rollovers have emerged as one of the smartest ways to make a philanthropic impact.
This is often where an IRA Charitable Rollover makes the most sense. With this option, the donor still receives the tax benefit from the gift, despite the changes in tax code, only now it comes in the form of an IRA withdrawal (rather than an itemized deduction) and the ability to exclude that income on their tax return. In addition, that new and much larger standard deduction still applies. Thanks to the IR A Charitable Rollover, the AGI and ultimately, the tax liability, may all end up lower than they would be otherwise. Tidewater Jewish Foundation is well versed in handling IRA Charitable Rollovers. Scott Kaplan, TJF CEO, says that not enough people are aware of this giving option and its many benefits.
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Senior Living The Numbers The Numbers This is a simplified example that demonstrates how an IRA Charitable rollover of $10,000 can reduce a couple’s tax burden. In this case, they are both over age 70 ½ and filed taxes jointly. Income Required Minimum Distribution Adjusted Gross Income Standard Deduction* Taxable Income
Without IRA Rollover With IRA Rollover $200,000 +10,000 $210,000 -$27,000 $183,000
Taxable Difference X Tax Rate = Tax Saving
$200,000 +$0 $200,000 -$27,000 $173,000 $10,000 24% $2,400
*Standard deduction of $24,400 for a married couple filing jointly plus the additional $1,300 for each individual age 65 or older. Source: Wall, Einhorn & Chernitzer, P.C.
“With recent changes in the tax law, for the benefit of one or more agencies. IRA Charitable Rollovers have emerged • The Tidewater Jewish Foundation is as one of the smartest ways to make a free resource that can help guide donors a philanthropic impact. However, this through this process and, if needed, can is new information for a lot of people connect them with a trusted financial or so we are doing our best to make sure legal advisor. our Jewish community knows this An IRA is built option is available. through decades I expect to see an of hard work and increase in its utiinvestment. That lization as more asset represents people become professional sucMay be transferred aware of it,” says cesses, failures, from an IRA each year Kaplan. lessons learned, and not be taxed ladders climbed, Basic facts about and glass ceilings shattered. When IRA Charitable Rollovers the time comes to consider how those • Donor must be 70 ½ to take funds will best advantage of this giving option. be used, consider contacting Tidewater • Donor can transfer up to $100,000 a Jewish Foundation so it is possible to year from an IRA and none of that money make the greatest impact possible with a gift that makes sense for each donor, will be taxed as income. Also of note, that limit is per person and not per IRA. family, and community. When considering ways to build a philanthropic legacy, this is a smart option. Contact Scott Kaplan, president and CEO • Gifts must be made directly from at 757-965-6109 or Kaitlyn Oelsner, develthe IRA to the organization. If it passes opment associate and LIFE & LEGACY through the donor’s hands, the tax benecoordinator at 757-965-6103. fits will not be received. This information is not intended as tax, • IRA Charitable Distributions cannot legal, or financial advice. Gift results may go into a donor advised fund, but may go vary. Consult your personal financial adviinto an endowment or permanent fund sor for information specific to your situation.
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Senior Adult Programming at the Simon Family JCC
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16 | Jewish News | Senior Living | June 24, 2019 | jewishnewsva.org
n array of activities for adults 55 and older are always on the Simon Family JCC’s calendar. Programs and events include educational sessions, Jewish holiday celebrations, trips, and Deni Budman activities to coincide Nadav Meirson leads an exercise class with seniors. with the JCC’s and United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s physical, as well as mental health. Tom programming such as Israel Today and Purcell and his staff have fashioned activthe book and film festivals. ities specifically for older users. A social The JCC Seniors Club, for example, aspect of working out together can be seen presently 65 members strong, meets the with many of the members of the Seniors third Wednesday of every month for Club who have been recruited in recent lunch and entertainment or a speaker. years from the water aerobics groups Many meetings are open to the Tidewater which have become not only fitness, but senior community, as was the case when also friendship sources. a local FBI agent joined the group in More than 300 people take advantage February for a discussion on scamming. of these myriad groups that have social Another recent highlight was a session and health impacts on the participants. with visiting Israeli celebrity trainer In fact, one participant recently noted, Nadav Meirson in the Simon Family JCC “I depend on this group to give me a gym. Participants connected with the little emotional respite from my husband’s instructor and were delighted to take critical illness. I can come here, play and away suggestions for a healthier lifestyle. kibbitz, and then go home refreshed and The Club’s programming includes holiready to support him with an upbeat day celebrations for the High Holidays, attitude.” Hanukkah, and Passover. So far this year, As reported by AARP, a study by the Seniors Club has coordinated day Professors Julianne Holt-Lunstad and trips to ODU’s Barry Art Museum and the Timothy Smith of Brigham Young Virginia Holocaust Museum in Richmond. University found that prolonged social Seventeen small groups meet weekly isolation [in any age group but specifically and monthly throughout the Simon in adults 55 and older] is as harmful to Family JCC for a variety of activities health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and including mah jongg, knitting and crois more harmful than obesity. cheting for Jewish Family Service clients, The Simon Family JCC offers programs current events discussion, Book Club, and to promote fun, health, physical, mental, Yiddish learning, to name a few. and emotional well-being for seniors and Two new activities were added this continues to expand its repertoire to past winter: terrarium construction and a encourage older adults to stay active and workshop on technology skill building on social. laptops, tablets, and phones. The classes were well received and similar activities For more information, contact Sheryl Luebke, are being planned for the future. Simon Family JCC Senior Programs coordiThe Fitness Center is a source of nator, at 757-321-2334 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senior Living BSV Senior Prom
Family owned and operated since 1917 Southside Chapel • 5033 Rouse Drive Virginia Beach • 757 422-4000
Chris Sisler, Vice President, Member of Ohef Sholom Temple, Board member of the Berger-Goldrich Home at Beth Sholom Village, James E. Altmeyer, Jr., President, James E. Altmeyer, Sr., Owner
Alice Utterback with Shelby Crockett, BSV recreation therapy aid.
eth Sholom Village hosts a “Senior Prom” each year that allows residents to dress up, dance, and enjoy a sumptuous meal. The fifth annual event on May 17 took place in the Pincus Paul Room and featured a DJ.
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loved ones that you care about them. Our Family Service Counselors have the training and experience that will help you in the process. Our services include a free funeral cost estimate, and we offer many options for financing. Visit our web site for a three-step Pre-Arrangement Guide or contact the Altmeyer Pre-Arrangement
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Abby Friedman at the Village Boutique.
uying local is always a good thing, but isn’t it even better when the proceeds benefit a good organization? “It’s why I do this,” says Abby Friedman, the brains and energy behind the Beth Sholom Village Auxiliary’s
unique boutique at the Berger-Goldrich Health Care and Rehabilitation Center. “I love to buy and merchandise clothes and jewelry and then help women look their best.” “We do not compete with the
synagogue shops,” says Friedman, who stocks very little Judaica and has an eye for trends that’ll sell. “I go to vendor shows and form relationships with other providers to buy items that frankly I would wear myself.” Friedman doesn’t have the worries of most storeowners. Though she does all the buying, displays, and price tagging, there’s no rent, salaries, or insurance to pay, and volunteers have nights, weekends, and holidays off. Plus, she’s got a great team of Auxiliary members to help round out the Boutique staff. Arlene Owens is treasurer,
Riverside Chapel • 7415 River Road Newport News •757 245-1525
Marilyn Alison handles the training, and Marlene Rossen takes care of scheduling volunteers. “What better unpaid job is there?” asks Friedman. “You work with the residents, their families, and friends and whatever we make over the cost of the merchandise, it helps Beth Sholom.” Looking for a sundress and necklace, or purse and top? Visit Friedman at The Village Boutique. Shoppers might leave with more than a new wardrobe, and perhaps even a new place to volunteer.
jewishnewsva.org | June 24, 2019 | Senior Living | Jewish News | 17
Senior Living Cohousing for seniors is a solution for today An Interview with Cohousing Architect, Charles Durrett
harles Durrett is busy. He has been designing, teaching, and building cohousing communities in the United States since he brought the concept here from Denmark with Kathryn McCamant some three decades ago. This year, though things are different. “Instead of working on demonstrating the value of cohousing, our firm is occupied keeping pace with a number of communities under development. I’m also just completing a new book to help others initiate their own cohousing community,” says Durrett. Cohousing is just hitting its stride in the United States. The US Cohousing Association reports that there are currently 165 established cohousing communities with another 140 forming. Durrett is working on a dozen projects in the United
States and Canada in different stages of development. Cohousing is a planned community consisting of private homes clustered around shared space. While each attached or single-family home has traditional amenities, including a private kitchen, shared spaces reflect each community—often with a shared community kitchen, lodge house, gardens, and outdoor spaces. The legal structure is typically a homeowner association or housing cooperative. Affordable living and sustainable housing concerns are major issues confronting every age group in America today. Healthy, educated, proactive adults want to live in a social and environmentally responsible community. They also seek to maintain a quality lifestyle while stretching their dollars further into the future. Millennials
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looking for homes are finding traditional single-family homes out of reach. Durrett is seeing family and specific populations building their own lifestyle-based housing, like LGBT Senior Cohousing in Village Hearth Cohousing in Durham, N. C., a community Durrett has helped initiate. This will be the first LGBT senior cohousCharles Durrett. ing project in the U.S., and maybe anywhere. Durrett answers a few questions about the co-housing concept: JN: What are some of the unique characteristics of 50+ cohousing communities? Durrett: One word: proactive. These communities are filled with individuals who are choosing to take control of their destinies through planning, not leaving things up to chance. For instance, accommodations are made for shared caregivers to live on site and long-term mobility and access issues are examined. Just the process of thinking things through as a group changes cohousing participants, preparing them with realistic views of their future. JN: What are some mature adult cohousing benefits? Durrett: Emotional well being, saving money through shared services and community, and maintaining independence for much longer than is commonly possible. Today, more Americans live alone in their later years, a significant health concern. This is a reflection of our culture, and one that we have the power to change. New York University sociology professor Eric Klinenberg notes that social attitudes need to progress so older people can stay connected as they age. “Our society is evolving quickly, but probably not quickly enough,” Klinenberg noted in a post concerning end of life
issues. The biggest cohousing benefit for any community is living with kindred and having a number of close friendships. But it cannot be overlooked that cohousing costs are significantly less than other senior facilities and gives the longest possible independent lifestyle—good for living a full life and conserving financial resources. JN: How does cohousing reduce an individual’s carbon footprint? Durrett: Cohousing takes an individual out of the single-home mindset. Top of mind: better lifestyle, greener lifestyle. Seniors realize that it’s really okay to leave their ranchette and move closer to town knowing they will be living with people they are comfortable with and that they are creating a home they can easily maintain for the next 20+ years. Americans drive some 5 billion miles caring for seniors in their homes (Meals on Wheels, Whistle Stop Nurses, and so on). In our small, semi-rural county in the Sierra foothills, on-demand buses alone has made 60,000 trips in massive, lumbering, polluting vans-buses—usually carrying only one senior at a time—schlepping a couple thousand seniors total over hill and dale to doctor’s appointments, to pick up medicine, or to see friends. In our cohousing community of 21 seniors, I have never seen a single on-demand bus in the driveway. In cohousing it happens organically by caring neighbors: “Can I catch a ride with you?” or “Are you headed to the drug store?” This alternative is much more fun and inexpensive for all involved, and much less damaging to the environment. Site location that allows for walkable lifestyles is a large factor, as well. Wolf Creek Lodge, a senior cohousing community
Your Choice for Memory Care
Wolf Creek Cohousing.
The Reflections Memory Care Program with 30 units, built on 1 acre, is within walking distance of downtown Grass Valley, population 12,000. Nevada City Cohousing is also a short stroll to the downtown historic district. Cohousing is a mind shift that is not just greener—it makes a better life. JN: How would cohousing affect my retirement planning? Durrett: Cohousing is a proactive, realistic way of addressing issues. It’s an ultra-responsible approach to assessing how to provide for one’s own future. Everyone in the process is dealing with understanding that mortality is real and that aging successfully means examining the whole person benefits—economic, emotional and physical well being. Cohousers choose to place themselves in a fun, life-affirming, and embracing community. The big thing here is that by living independently longer, money is saved at every juncture, so by taking control, resources can go much further. Turns out that an independent, quality life costs less than facilitated retirement. JN: What kind of start-up process is involved? Durrett: First off, contact a cohousing company. They will find out what considerations and requirement are needed for your specific area. They will also be able to guide you in forming a group.
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jewishnewsva.org | June 24, 2019 | Senior Living | Jewish News | 19
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f you are like most people on Social Security, you’ve found a use every month for that check. For others, that check is essentially bonus money, totally unnecessary for day-to-day survival. “That situation is not as unusual as many may think,” says Jeffrey Eglow, chief investment officer for Guardian Wealth Advisory (www.guardianwealthadvisory.com). “Some people may have inherited an income, won a lottery, or had investments that did really well. “But just because they don’t need that Social Security money to live on, it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t make the most of it. There are some specific things they should do to make sure they are getting the maximum benefit.” Eglow says that many baby boomers see their investments and retirement income differently than they did before the 2008 recession. They are looking for sources of guaranteed income instead of more risky investments. While Social Security is guaranteed income, if they are wise about how they leverage it, they can have even more guaranteed income, he says. Eglow says strategies for people who are in this situation include: •D on’t take Social Security until you are 70. This is the best strategy since there are few investments that offer a similar low risk, guaranteed 8 percent annual growth. By waiting until age 70 to receive benefits, your monthly payments may increase by as much as 32%, not including any cost of living increases that may be added to this amount. For example, someone who could get $2,000 a month at the “full retirement age” of 66 would get $2,640 if they postponed taking Social Security until they were 70. •S pend the Social Security check instead of 401(k) or IRA funds. Most people are taxed on only 50 percent to
Many baby boomers see their investments and retirement income differently than they did before the 2008 recession.
85 percent of their Social Security benefit. But they are taxed on 100 percent of any withdrawals from traditional IRAs or 401(k) accounts. •G ive it to the kids. Use the Social Security checks to pay premiums on life insurance policies so your heirs will receive a larger inheritance. Your heirs will receive this death benefit tax free. •D on’t delay getting Social Security past 70. Since the benefit stops growing at 8 percent once the beneficiary reaches 70, it makes no sense to delay the start of getting the checks past that age. Eglow says even if some people don’t need their Social Security check for day to day living, it is still foolish to not maximize its value so it can benefit them and their families.
Senior Living Miriam Adelson is Israel’s richest person, with $22 billion Marcy Oster
JERUSALEM (JTA)—Dr. Miriam Adelson, the wife of American casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, is Israel’s wealthiest person for 2019, according to a biannual list. The Haaretz daily newspaper’s Israel’s rich list published Wednesday, June 19, notes that Israel has 128 billionaires after having only eight in 2003. Miriam Adelson, 73, is new to the list and jumped right to the top spot, “thanks to a recent transfer of assets from her husband,” according to Haaretz. Adelson’s personal wealth is placed at $22 billion, most of it in shares in the Las Vegas Sands Corp. given to her last year by her husband, according to the report. Adelson also controls the free distribution newspaper Israel Hayom as its publisher. Russian-born Roman Abramovich, 52, owner of the Chelsea FC soccer team, last year became the richest person ever to immigrate to Israel and claim citizenship. He comes in on the list at No. 2 with his total wealth valued at $13 billion. Here is the rest of the top 10: 3. Eyal Ofer, son of the late billionaire Sammy Ofer, at $10.7 billion, mostly in real estate holdings and shipping;
4. The Wertheimer family led by patriarch, Iscar founder Stef Wertheimer, $9.5 billion; 5. French-Israeli telecom magnate Patrick Drahi, who earlier this month purchased Sotheby’s auction house, $8.75 billion; 6. The Azrieli family, which invests in real estate and owns shopping malls, $5.54 billion; 7. Businesswoman Shari Arison, who recently liquidated most of her holdings in Israel, $5.5 billion; 8. Gil Shwed, who co-founded Check Point Software Technologies, $4.7 billion; 9. Idan Ofer, $4.5 billion; and 10. The Tshuva family, whose wealth comes from natural gas, $4.15 billion. Other notables: 17. Israeli-American media mogul Haim Saban of Power Rangers fame, $2.9 billion; 21. The Strauss family, owner of the third-largest food products manufacturer in Israel, $2.2 billion; and 30. Sylvan Adams, who brought the Italian bicycle race Giro d’Italia to the country last year, underwrote Madonna’s performance at the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv and is heir to a real estate empire started by his father, $1.7 billion.
Build your legacy with an IRA Charitable Rollover. By making a Qualified Charitable Distribution from your IRA, you can: - Reduce your taxable income even if you don’t itemize deductions - Avoid taxes on transfers of up to $100,000 - Satisfy your annual Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) - Make a gift that is not subject to deduction limits If you are 70.5 or older and don’t need all or part of your RMD, learn how you can make a lasting impact on your Jewish community.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg named Best Real-Life Hero at MTV awards Marcy Oster
Add another honor for Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Best RealLife Hero. The Supreme Court justice won the recognition at the MTV Movie and TV Awards on Monday, June 17. She wasn’t on hand in California to pick up the award, which was handed out for the first time. Ginsburg beat out rock climber Alex Honnold, comedian Hannah Gadsby, wrestler Roman Reigns, and tennis superstar Serena Williams. RBG, the documentary about Ginsburg, lost out to Surviving R. Kelly in the Best Documentary category, however. RBG–Ruth Bader Ginsburg vs. Inequality also lost out to Captain Marvel—Captain Marvel vs. MinnErva in the Best Fight category.
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Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
For more information, contact Kaitlyn Oelsner email@example.com | 757-965-6103 foundation.jewishva.org
jewishnewsva.org | June 24, 2019 | Senior Living | Jewish News | 21
Senior Living Findings released from first national study of Jewish grandparents
he first-ever national study of Jewish grandparents—commissioned by the Jewish Grandparents Network (JGN), in partnership with 17 national organizations and Jewish Federations—provides rich and detailed information about the demographics, attitudes and beliefs, behaviors, and needs of today’s Jewish
grandparents. Nearly 8,000 individuals, (approximately 1,000 of them from a nationally representative sample), participated in the study. Key findings include: • While the vast majority of Jewish grandparents find grandparenting to be a joyful experience, grandparenting can have its difficulties.
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• Most grandparent s are committed to transmitting Jewish values. • Nearly half of the grandparents in the national representative sample have a child married to a non-Jewish partner. • Most frequently, interactions between grandparents and their grandchildren take place in their homes and their grandchildren’s homes, around birthdays and national holidays. According to David Raphae, co-founder and CEO of the Jewish Grandparents Network, “The challenge for the Jewish community is to pivot towards the wonderful opportunity to engage grandparents in ways that ultimately bring the entire family together in meaningful Jewish experiences. Grandparents really can be partners in the Jewish engagement work that so many communities look to do.” The study identified five segments or groupings of Jewish grandparents, based on shared attitudes and beliefs: • Joyful Transmitters (20%)—love being grandparents and feel it’s important to transmit Jewish values and beliefs. • Faithful Transmitters (16%)—want their grandchildren to have a strong connection to Judaism and to marry Jews. • Engaged Secularists (23%)— engaged grandparents, but don’t model Jewish involvement for their grandchildren. • Wistful Outsiders (20%)—want to be more involved with their grandchildren, but family dynamics get in the way. • Non-Transmitters (20%)—not Jewishly-engaged nor interested in passing on Jewish practices to their grandchildren. The segmentation provides rich insights into each cohort’s attitudes, practices, needs, and interests and can provide significant insights to Jewish
organizations and communities on effectively engaging Jewish grandparents in Jewish communal life. According to Lee M. Hendler, co-founder and president of the Jewish Grandparents Network, “Grandparents are saying, work with us! Jewish transmission is our legacy and the ways and places we interact with our families have changed.” The study’s findings have generated significant interest among Jewish organizations and in Jewish communities across the nation. Presentations of the findings at the Jewish Funders Network Annual Conference, International Lion of Judah Conference, Jewish Community Center Association Executive Leadership Mifgash, Jewish Federation of North America Professional Institute, the PJ Library Annual International Conference and the Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies Annual Conference, among others, have been received enthusiastically. The Jewish Grandparents Network is the first and only national organization empowering grandparents as they embrace both traditional and radically new roles in their families. Through research, network-building, advocacy, and institutional partnerships, the group fosters new models of grandparent engagement for the benefit of Jewish families, Jewish communities, and a Jewish future.
it’s a Wrap Amy and Kevin Lefoce honored at Toras Chaim Annual Dinner the Jewish community on so many different levels and in so many different ways. Whatever they do, and wherever they are, they excel at bringing together Jews from all backgrounds. Toras Chaim also honored two long-time volunteers for the school, Michele Aronoff and Rabbi Yisroel Stein, Kirk Levy, and Kevin and Amy Lefcoe. Ruth Cohen. These women have run the school bingo game twice a week for the Rabbi Yisroel Stein last 17 years. The school bingo game is a very important source of funding for oras Chaim held its annual dinner at Toras Chaim and it wouldn’t be possible B’nai Israel Congregation on Monday, to have these games if not for these two June 3, honoring Amy and Kevin Lefcoe dedicated women. They have given a with the Gesher award for building tremendous amount of time for the benbridges in community and education. efit of Toras Chaim and its students, and The Lefcoes have been involved with deserved the school’s recognition. The dinner program for the more than 140 people who attended, began with a performance from the Toras Chaim boys’ choir. Kirk Levy served as dinner chairman and master of ceremonies. “Having a cheder in our relatively small community presents its challenges, but the support from everyone for the Toras Chaim Annual Dinner was overwhelming. Many readily supported the school, but honoring Kevin and Amy Lefcoe certainly helped bring in
additional donors. It was a privilege and an honor to have chaired the event,” says Levy. S p e a k e r s during the evening included Rabbi Gershon Litt, Rabbi Sender Haber, Rabbi Mordechai Loiterman, and Betty Ann Levin, United Jewish Federation of Tidewater executive vice president. Nathan Drory, Kevin Lefcoe, and David Cohen. When Levin began from an entire year at Toras Chaim. The to speak, she joked, “I don’t know the last video gave Toras Chaim parents, voluntime or next time my speech will follow teers, and donors an opportunity to see three rabbis.” how all their hard work and money pays The evening closed with an exciting off in tremendous ways. music video with hundreds of pictures
Some things in life really can be as simple as they used to be.
Amy Lefcoe and Betty Ann Levin.
Toras Chaim boys’ choir.
jewishnewsva.org | June 24, 2019 | Jewish News | 23
it’s a Wrap
Games and camaraderie make YAD’s Beachside Social successful
AD’s Beachside Social event was a huge success. New people, people who haven’t been to an event in years, people who aren’t new to the area, but are new to the Young Adult Division of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, as well as loyal ‘YADians,’ attended.
Jaime and Aaron Hutnick.
David and Alexandra Calliott.
There’s a new tribe in town Carly Glikman
f you’re under 30 and living in Tidewater, you might be aware of a new concept for connecting. It’s not a group or a club, it doesn’t require a membership or have a financial commitment. It’s an idea. An idea that all young Jews have a place within or adjacent to the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. It’s called Tribe 757. Inspired by the work of Rabbi Michael Uram, and sponsored by UJFT, Tribe 757 encourages younger folks to connect and create their own path and community. Through meetups and personal interests, the focus is growing Jewish
life organically and steering the focus from “something you are participating in, into something you are creating for yourself.” UJFT is offering funds to help young Jews with what they are looking for… from a Shabbat dinner in a friend’s apartment to an axe throwing night with friends. In addition to funds, a Tribe 757 facebook group is connecting all young Jews. Someone in the group may ask people to join them on a hike or for a beer–the range is wide. To learn more about Tribe 757, contact Carly Glikman at CGlikman@ujft.org
ORT honey sale underway Wish family, friends, and business associates a Sweet & Happy New Year Just in time for Rosh Hashanah, ORT will ship an 8 oz. jar of Kosher clover honey with a personalized card reading: “Shana Tova—Wishing you a Healthy and Happy New Year.” —signed with your name. Cost is $12 per jar. Order by August 3 for free shipping within the U.S. Additional shipping fees apply for international orders.
Kim Robinson, Matt Kantro, and Nathan and Emily Strelitz.
Ordering is quick and easy! Go to www.orthoney.com/pcv
Temple Lev Tikvah holds first service
• A fter August 3, add $5 per jar for shipping within the U.S. • Regardless of order date, add: $18 for Canada and $28 for other countries
t the opening festive Shabbat service of the new Temple Lev Tikvah in Virginia Beach on Friday, June 14, Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer presented the congregation’s founder and spiritual leader, Rabbi Dr. Israel Zoberman with a Proclamation in honor of this special occasion. It proclaims, “Rabbi Israel Zoberman Day” in Virginia Beach.
• Order through September 4 for delivery by Rosh Hashanah. Orders accepted throughout the High Holidays. • For more information or to request an order form, contact Abbie Laderberg no later than August 1 at 497-7238 or abbieladerberg@ gmail.com. Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer and Rabbi Dr. Israel Zoberman.
24 | Jewish News | June 24, 2019 | jewishnewsva.org
Bill’s Legacy Lives Forever
what’s happening Registration open Holocaust Commission’s 14th Biennial Educators’ Conference Teaching Difficult History: How Our Past Informs Our Present
Norfolk business owner Bill Goldback valued good health and great arts performances.
Tuesday, July 30, 5:30–7 pm, Norfolk Academy, 1585 Wesleyan Drive, Norfolk Wednesday, July 31, 7:30 am–4:30 pm Norfolk Academy Batten Library, 1585 Wesleyan Drive, Norfolk Thursday, August 1, 7:30 am–5 pm, trip to the Virginia Holocaust Museum, Richmond (transportation provided)
he Holocaust Commission’s 14th Biennial Educator’s Conference is designed to help teachers, administrators, student advocates, humanitarians, and history buffs understand the tragic events of the Holocaust. Participants will learn new methods of teaching this challenging material and discover ways to make Holocaust education relevant in today’s world. During the information packed two-day conference, sponsored by new partner, Bank of America, participants will attend presentations and workshops by keynote speakers, Dr. Alan Marcus of the University of Connecticut, Dr. Jeremy Stoddard of the University of Wisconsin, and Dr. Jeffery Eargle of the University of South Carolina. A special educators’ tour of the Virginia Holocaust Museum, including the traveling exhibit, Holocaust By Bullets, outlining the work of January’s visiting lecturer, Father Patrick Desbois, and a lecture from Dr. Charles Sydnor, the museum’s senior historian, will also take place. Those who can’t make the entire conference are able to attend the preview event on July 30, an Evening with the Arts, when The Elbert Watson Dance Company presents an original work choreographed just for the conference. Light hors d’oeuvres and remarks from Elizabeth Lodal of the Virginia Department of Education about the importance of using the arts in education, as well as a display of student
artwork from previous Elie Wiesel art competitions, are all part of the evening. This year’s keynote speakers bring valuable insights and information to the expanding spectrum and pedagogy of Holocaust history and education. Dr. Alan Marcus is an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction at UConn and is a University of Connecticut Teaching Fellow. He and fellow keynote speaker Dr. Jeremy Stoddard, associate professor and director of the Secondary Education Program in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, literally wrote the book on Teaching Difficult History Through Film. Marcus also specializes in museum education, with an emphasis on studying World War II and the Holocaust. He collaborates with museum educators across the United States and internationally, is a Faculty Fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and was recently a lead writer for the State of Connecticut Social Studies Frameworks. His current research is in collaboration with the UK National Holocaust Centre and Museum and the Illinois Holocaust Museum evaluating the potential and limitations of virtual interactive Holocaust survivor testimony. Stoddard teaches courses in social studies pedagogical methods and media
and democratic education. His research explores the role of media in teaching, with a particular focus on teaching difficult and controversial historical and contemporary issues. Dr. Jeffrey Eargle, who will speak about teaching the Holocaust with graphic novels, is a professor in Secondary Humanities Education at the University of South Carolina. He has taught the Holocaust at the high school level, co-facilitated a graduate level course titled Teaching the Holocaust, and serves on the Teacher Advisory Committee for the SC Council on the Holocaust. Eargle was a ﬁnalist for South Carolina Teacher of the Year in 2011 and was recognized in 2018 for Excellence in Teaching Civil Rights and Civil Liberties by the SC Council for the Social Studies.
Conference Details Full 2-day Conference: $75. Includes Evening of the Arts, keynotes and workshops, meals, transportation to Richmond, and all class resources. Community option: $50. Evening of the Arts and Keynote Presentations only on July 31.
Before he died in 2007, Bill arranged for a Hampton Roads Community Foundation bequest to provide grants for performing arts and medicine in Hampton Roads. Goldback grants are helping Chesapeake Care, Hampton Roads Community Health Center, Todd Rosenlieb Dance and Young Audiences of Virginia do excellent work. Thanks to Bill’s generosity he will forever help people in his home region. Connect your passions to the future by ordering a free bequest guide. Learn how easy it is to leave a gift for charity. Adding Charity to Your W or IRA ill
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Evening of the Arts only: $25.
For more information and to register online, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit holocaustcommission. jewishva.org/educators-conference, or call 757-965-6125.
www.leaveabequest.org (757) 622-7951 jewishnewsva.org | June 24, 2019 | Jewish News | 25
Employment Oppor tunity
Executive Administrative Assistant The United Jewish Federation of Tidewater/Simon Family JCC seeks an Executive Administrative Assistant who is a master multi-tasker with excellent communication skills (both verbal and written) to support the Executive Vice President (EVP) in the execution of the organization’s development and operational goals. This Full-Time position requires an upbeat attitude, and the ideal candidate should be resourceful and organized. The position supports the EVP’s work with the Senior Management Team, the UJFT Board of Directors and committees. An important responsibility is to ensure that operational information is communicated in a timely, accurate and appropriate manner. The qualified candidate must have two or more years of related office experience and proven proficiency using Windows and MS Office (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint).
Calendar July 18, Thursday YAD Backyard Beer and Bourbon Happy Hour. Join UJFT’s Young Adult Division at Hank’s Filling Station in Norfolk. Happy Hours are a great way to have fun and expand Jewish Networks. Bring a canned food item to be donated to Jewish Family Service. Happy Hours start at 5:30 pm. For more information contact, Carly Glikman at CGlikman@ujft.org. JULY 30–AUGUST 1, TUESDAY–THURSDAY 14th Biennial Educators’ Conference, “Teaching Difficult History: How Our Past Informs Our Present.” Holocaust Commission invites educators, community members, and students to attend. For more information, call 965-6125, email email@example.com or visit https://holocaustcommission.jewishva.org/educators-conference. See page 25. August 14, Wednesday YAD Girls Night Out: Cocktails and The Dirty Jeans Tour. Join the Ladies of UJFT’s Young Adult Division as they laugh their way from the bar to the comedy club to see Jewish comedian, Claudia Oshry on her Dirty Jeans Tour. The night starts at Twist in Town Center at 6:15 pm, followed by Funny Bone Virginia Beach for an 8 pm show. Pricing includes one drink and ticket. For more information, contact Carly Glikman at CGlikman@ujft.org. August, 25, Sunday YAD Beach Clean Up. Get Hands on Tidewater with UJFT’s Young Adult Division for a beach clean-up for all ages. This social action project will start at 9 am at First Landing State Park Beach. To sign up, contact Carly Glikman at CGlikman@ujft.org.
Complete job description at federation.jewishva.org/job-opportunities Submit cover letter, resume, and salary requirements to: firstname.lastname@example.org Review of applications will begin immediately, and continue until the position filled. EOE
August 29, Thursday YAD Beers and Burger Night. Join UJFT’s Young Adult Division at the new Wegmans in Virginia Beach. Happy Hours are a great way to have fun and expand Jewish Networks. Bring school supplies to be donated to Jewish Family Service. Happy Hours start at 5:30 pm. For more information, contact Carly Glikman at CGlikman@ujft.org. Send submissions for calendar to email@example.com. Be sure to note “calendar” in the subject. Include date, event name, sponsor, address, time, cost and phone.
Employment Oppor tunity
Full Time Copywriter
Community Relations Council Director
Jewish News seeks a passionate storyteller who can craft clear and compelling copy for the newspaper, as well as for other mediums such as direct mail, media releases, email, digital, social media, and print. Position Responsibilities
• Write clear and persuasive copy with an emphasis on writing articles, direct mail packages, email, event posts, and printed collateral. • Collaborate with the editorial, graphics, and marketing team, as well as with program managers. • Proof, edit, and research as needed. • Employ best practices and keep up with industry trends. • Understand Jewish culture, history, issues, and traditions. Qualifications
• Bachelor’s degree required, preferably in Journalism, English, or Communications. • Strong verbal communication skills. • Detail-oriented self-starter with a high degree of creative initiative. Complete job description and qualifications at www.jewishva.org
Submit cover letter, resume and salary requirements to: firstname.lastname@example.org The United Jewish Federation of Tidewateris firmly committed to a policy of equal employment opportunity for all qualified persons without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, non-disqualifying disability or veteran status.
Equal Employment Opportunity 26 | Jewish News | June 24, 2019 | jewishnewsva.org
The CRC educates the community on issues impacting the rights of Jews locally, in the U. S., in Israel and around the world. Candidate should have managerial leadership and experience implementing its mission and programmatic direction. Position requires knowledge of current topics of interest to the Jewish community; knowledge and understanding of Jewish life, practices, customs, history, perspective and community infrastructure; involvement in Jewish communal life.
Jewish Innovation Director
JI director works with all departments to infuse Judaism into what takes place daily at the Sandler Family Campus. Candidate will bring a spirit of creativity to experiencing Judaism on campus and in the community by creating a culture of innovation and forward thinking through events, experiences, and study. Bachelor’s Degree in related field, Master’s Degree preferred; Knowledge of Jewish values and traditions; 5+ years’ experience developing innovative programing including implementation and growth and demonstrated success as a Jewish educator for different demographics.
Complete job descriptions at federation.jewishva.org/job-opportunities Submit cover letter, resume, and salary requirements to: email@example.com
Google doodle celebrates falafel
oogle is celebrating falafel, calling it the “best thing that ever happened to chickpeas.” It’s also among the best thing that ever happened to the Google doodle, the logo that greeted visitors to the search giant’s home page on Tuesday, June 18. The mini cartoon featured three smiling falafel balls hopping into an open pita after one of them slathers it with hummus (or is that tahini?) and tosses in some cucumbers and tomatoes, which some would call Israeli salad. Google said in a statement explaining the doodle that “the exact origins of this spicy street food have been lost to the mists of time,” and that “falafel has been enjoyed for centuries in many different cultures.” It added that “Israel has a song to celebrate its love affair with the tried-and-true treat, entitled And We Have Falafel.” The song, by Dan Almagor and Moshe Wilensky, claims the fried chickpea balls as Israel’s “national dish.” There are some who would beg to differ. In October, for example, a Palestinian reporter speaking
on the official Palestinian Authority TV claimed that Israel has launched a “brutal attack on Palestinian heritage, including Palestinian foods,” claiming the country has co-opted falafel and hummus. A video clip of the report was translated by Palestinian Media Watch. Falafel is believed to have originated in Egypt, with the fried balls made out of fava beans, and then spread to the Levant area of the eastern Mediterranean. Its name derives from a Levantine Arabic word. Most Middle Eastern countries make their falafel with chickpeas. India, by the way, produces most of the world’s chickpeas. The world’s largest falafel, according to Guinness World Records, weighing in at 164.8 pounds and measuring 59.8 inches tall, was fried for 25 minutes at the Landmark Hotel in Amman, Jordan, in 2012. (JTA) 4 Jewish women on their remarkable journeys to single motherhood.
four Jewish women on their remarkable journeys to single motherhood atriarchs, a short documentary from Kveller, tells the story of four mothers who bear the namesake of the four biblical matriarchs: Sarah, Rebeccah, Leah and Rachel. For both the biblical characters and the four mothers in the film, pregnancy and motherhood wasn’t easy or straightforward. In the bible, Sarah, Rebeccah and Rachel struggle with years of infertility, while Leah, who has an easy time bearing children, has to face the rejection of her husband, Jacob, who loves another—her sister Rachel. Essentially, she has to raise her children alone. All four of the Jewish mothers in Kveller’s Matriarchs are raising their children without a partner. But unlike Leah, they are single mothers by choice. In their own words, in their own homes, and surrounded by their smiling, playing children, you can watch them recount their journeys towards motherhood. They divulge the complexities of choosing a sperm donor and dealing with Jewish genetic diseases. Two of the mothers struggled with long and arduous fertility treatments. But for all, motherhood was a dream come true. (JTA)
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BUYING OR SELLING SOON? Call Chas 416.8280 Call Larry 434.4573 www.chasfergusonrealestate.com jewishnewsva.org | June 24, 2019 | Jewish News | 27
Obituaries Ronald “Ron” Roy Anderson Belhaven, N.C.—Ronald “Ron” Anderson, 68, of Belhaven, NC, formerly of Wheeling, West Virginia, passed away surrounded by family at his home on May 17, 2019 after a 15-month journey with brain cancer. He is survived by his wife of 29 years, Carrie Parks Anderson; his mother, Elaine Anderson of Neenah, Wisc.; five children,
Ronnie Anderson (Nicole) of Windsor Heights, West Virginia, Lisa Jones (Andy) of Virginia Beach, Va., Scott Anderson (Calista) of Wheeling, Cory Anderson of Belhaven, N.C., and Jacob Anderson (Holly Lindsey) of Virginia Beach, VA; two brothers, Wayne Anderson (Gloria) Pembine, Wisc. and Dennis Anderson (Marcia) Neenah, Wisc.; five grandchildren, CJ Anderson, Wyatt Jones,
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Elliott Jones, Wesley Jones, and Baileigh Anderson; a sister in law, Vonda Wyatt (Wesley) of Belhaven. He was preceded in death by his father, Warren (Bud) Anderson. A celebration of life service was held at Oglebay Park, Haller Shelter with military honors. Ron was a U.S. veteran, proudly serving our country in the United States Navy where he received training in dental prosthetics’ which he used to serve the dental community of Wheeling for 43 years with his business, Anderson Dental Lab. He was an avid outdoors-man who enjoyed sharing his love of hunting, fishing, and nature activities with his children and grandchildren. He was a man driven by his strong faith and filled our lives with love and energy through his kindness, work ethic, and generosity. Always quick to respond, he would put his hands to the plow where there was a need and pray for you wherever he met you. He loved nature and the rugged outdoors and appreciated
the beauty of the most delicate flower. Therefore, it is fitting, as a tribute to this amazing man, to create a rose garden in his honor where people can rest in the beauty of God’s creation and find peace in prayer. Memorial donations can be forwarded to https://www.gofundme.com/ron-anderson-memorial-prayer-garden. Washington Funeral & Cremation, Hillside Chapel, Washington, N.C. Andrew M. Fekete, MD Norfolk—Andrew M. Fekete, MD, FACP, 89, passed away peacefully on Sunday, June 9, 2019 with his family by his side. He served his Norfolk community in the medical field for many years. Born in Norfolk, he was the son of the late Dora Silver Fekete and Andrew Fekete. Dr. Fekete was a long-time member of the B’Nai Israel Congregation and was a member of the Norfolk Masonic Lodge No. 1, AF&AM and the Norfolk Scottish Rite Bodies. Left to cherish his memory is his beloved wife of 63 years, Ruth Gelb Fekete; two daughters, Sharon F. Tabaac of Punta Gorda, Fla. and Janet F. Bolton of Patterson, N.Y.; one son, David R. Fekete of Norfolk; and two grandchildren, Ariella and Zachary Tabaac. A graveside funeral service took place in Forest Lawn Cemetery with Rabbi Sender Haber officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to Children’s Hospital of The Kings Daughters (www.chkd.com) or the Norfolk SPCA (www.norfolkspca.com). H. D. Oliver Funeral Apts., Norfolk Chapel. Online condolences may be offered to the family through www.hdoliver.com.
Eric Fingerhut served in Congress. He says leading Hillel was a harder job. Ben Sales
NEW YORK ( JTA)—Eric Fingerhut believes in the “big tent.” But is the tent collapsing? For six tumultuous years, he has served as the president of Hillel International, the umbrella group for more than 500 Jewish centers on college campuses across the country. He’s leaving his position on July 1 to become president of the Jewish Federations of North America. Up to the end, Fingerhut, a former Democratic congressman from Ohio, has insisted on a kind of establishment centrism that feels like it’s disappearing in the Jewish world and beyond. He likes to talk about an open tent with firm poles—the idea that Hillel should welcome as many people as possible while also maintaining clear ideological red lines, particularly on Israel. However, during his tenure, Hillel has been condemned by a growing rebellion of anti-Zionist students—and also by a right-wing Israeli official. Long-held ideas of who is Jewish, and what Judaism means, have continually been called into question even as rival, strictly Orthodox groups have grown on campus. One of its most prominent donors was accused of sexual harassment, and Fingerhut says in that case Hillel “did not respond as comprehensively as we should.” Given these pressures, is his a brave stand for pluralism in an increasingly polarized world? Or does it seek to preserve a bygone communal consensus and do it, of all places, on campus, one of the most incendiary spaces in the country? “It’s certainly true that we are in a time when the differences of opinion are magnified,” he says. “Overall, I think Hillel has been enormously successful in providing that big tent on campus.” What is the big tent? “A big tent is a piece of canvas with four poles pulled as tight, as far apart as it can be pulled, but still holding up the canvas,” he says. “We keep our flaps open. So, we
welcome people even if they disagree with something that Hillel stands for.” Statistics show the approach has worked, Fingerhut says. According to Hillel International, the number of students who come to Hillel at least once a year has doubled in his six years as president, to 137,000 from 68,000. Some 40,000 students come to six or more Hillel programs per year. Hillel says participation in trips to Israel and summer programs there have also grown. But the most controversial tent pole, by far, has been Israel. Hillel, and Fingerhut, maintain that Israel’s existence as a Jewish state should be unquestioned, a position that used to be a given in Jewish communal spaces but is increasingly up for debate, especially among young people. Hillel’s guidelines on Israel discourse, formulated before Fingerhut took office, says Hillel will not partner with or host speakers or groups that delegitimize Israel, deny its right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state, encourage a boycott of Israel or foster an atmosphere of incivility. The language is vague (Hillel would say flexible), and individual campus Hillels often operate independently of the national organization. That’s led to a string of controversies. In 2013, months after Fingerhut came on, the Swarthmore Hillel announced that it would host anti-Zionist speakers. A few months later Vassar College likewise declared itself an “Open Hillel,” part of a group that objects to the guidelines. Guilford College in North Carolina followed suit a year later. In 2015, Fingerhut backed out of speaking to J Street U, the college arm of the liberal Zionist Israel lobby. He later addressed the group’s leadership and apologized. Two years later, the Ohio State University Hillel dropped the campus Jewish LGBTQ group because it co-sponsored a Purim drag show with Jewish Voice for Peace, a group that advocates an Israel boycott and says it is anti-Zionist. And last year, the guidelines were
tested on the right. Deputy Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely was going to speak at Princeton, but Hillel canceled her talk after students protested her opposition to Palestinian statehood and denial of a Muslim connection to Jerusalem. The campus Chabad ended up hosting the talk, and Fingerhut apologized, writing in the Jerusalem Post that “we did not treat the Israeli deputy foreign minister with the respect that her office deserves.” Swarthmore’s Jewish student organization later disaffiliated with Hillel International. Vassar Hillel, Guilford’s Jewish organization, and the Ohio State LGBTQ group later decided to abide by the guidelines. And following the Princeton controversy, Hotovely spoke at two Hillels in New York City. Fingerhut emphasized that the vast majority of Hillel programs aren’t subject to controversy, and that students are welcome at all programs regardless of their personal politics. “Notwithstanding a very vigorous debate, albeit from a relatively small group of people…I think the guidelines overall have stood the test of time,” he says. Later he says, “But we’re not going to be a platform for delegitimization.” When the guidelines were composed in 2010, conversation on Israel was polarized—and it’s even more polarized now. The past decade has seen the founding of IfNotNow, a millennial Jewish group critical of Israel, and the proliferation of votes to boycott Israel on campus. The right wing has become more entrenched, too. In 2010, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he supported Palestinian statehood. Now he says he supports annexing Israeli settlements in the West Bank. But while the ban on anti-Zionist speakers at Hillel will continue, Fingerhut says Israeli government officials would be welcome at Hillel even if they opposed Palestinian statehood and favored Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank. Hillel has maintained less contentious
boundaries when it comes to Jewish religious practice. Students of all Jewish identities are welcome, he says, regardless of their parents’ Jewish identity and whom they’re dating. And while the past two decades have seen the growth of several Orthodox initiatives at colleges, from a booming network of more than 250 campus Chabad houses to programs like Meor and the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus, Hillel has stuck to its religious pluralist ethos. It’s the only major Jewish campus group that employs female rabbis and clergy of all denominations. And 30 Hillels have added full-time Jewish educators since Fingerhut became president. “There’s no other organization in the Jewish world that employs among its professionals the breadth of religious leadership, truly from every denominational strain of Jewish life,” Fingerhut says. “What we ask ourselves is, ‘Are they pluralistic in their approach?’ We would expect that a Reform rabbi would be able to communicate to students the responsibility and integrity of the other streams of Judaism as well as their own, and we would expect of an Orthodox rabbi the same.” Any contentiousness hasn’t hurt Hillel’s bottom line. During Fingerhut’s term, annual revenue combined for Hillel International and local Hillels has doubled to nearly $200 million from $90 million. As a former congressman, Fingerhut is no stranger to controversy and scandal. Looking back, which job was harder— Congress or Hillel? “I’m going to go with Hillel,” he says.
jewishnewsva.org | June 24, 2019 | Jewish News | 29
jewish family service
JFS organ donation program dispels myths, spreads awareness Amy Cobb
he theme throughout the evening was awareness, but as the stories unfolded, an even stronger message came through: organ donation is LOVE. The Thursday, May 16 program, “Organ Donation: The Gift of Life” featured keynote speaker Janet S. Wright, MD FACC, acting director of science and policy with the U.S. Surgeon General’s office, along with a panel of speakers at Zeiders American Dream Theater. The annual Spring Into Healthy Living program presented by Jewish Family Service of Tidewater featured inspiring stories by donor families and donor recipients, as well as some eye-opening facts and dispelled myths from other speakers. Kathryn Barrett, former medical editor with WVEC-TV, served as the event’s moderator. After the event, Barrett wrote, “It was impossible not to gain inspiration from the strength exuded by top-notch panelists who spoke about what the gift of life meant to them—giving it and receiving it—punctuated by thoughts from religious and medical leaders. As part of this outstanding program, I was surrounded by people that made me better, Wallace Green, Thom Hutchins, Al Diaz, Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz, Dr. David Baran, and Dr. Janet Wright.” Dr. Wright told the audience about the initiatives of the Department of Health and Human Services related to organ and tissue donation. She outlined a plan for everyone to follow, which includes exercise, healthy diet, smoking cessation, and regular medical check-ups. Only about 60 percent of Virginians are registered donors, although almost anyone age 13 and up can become a donor, either by registering at the DMV or online. Organs from one person can save up to eight lives, while a single tissue donor can enhance the lives of more than 75 people. Corneas can help others, as can blood vessels. Living donors, in which people donate an organ or part of an organ—kidneys and livers—to a
person in need of a transplant, are additional avenues of Jeff Cooper, JFS president; Kelly Burroughs, JFS CEO; Kathryn Barrett, moderator; Thom Hutchins, donor family; Dr. Janet S. Wright, organ donation. acting director of Science & Policy, Office of the U.S. Surgeon General; Al Diaz, donor family and recipient; Patti Wainger, Dr. David JFS board member; and Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz, Congregation Beth El. Baran, a of the life-saving impact,” said Diaz, “but transplant specialist with Sentara Heart the transplant, he was doing well enough donated tissue also has a great impact on Hospital, told of the incredible need for to travel to Florida to see his daughter get restoration of sight and health of many, and success in the field of organ transmarried. Hutchins concluded by saying many others.” plants. During the question and answer that speaking on behalf of organ and Diaz’s wife, Susie, had lung disease period, a young man stood up and shared tissue donation has been a big part of the and died in February of 2018. Susie that six months prior, Dr. Baran’s team grieving and healing process. had been a proponent for donation and gave him a new heart after he waited nine The evening’s final speaker, Wallace started a statewide program to help stuyears for the transplant. His story and Green, touched on the guilt of being the dents going to the DMV for their driver’s warm thanks to Baran left the audience recipient of a kidney. “I wrestled with licenses make informed decisions about with a real sense of hope. thoughts such as ‘someone had to die so registering as donors. She made preRabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz of Congregation I could live,’” he said. “An eight-year-old sentations throughout the area to driver Beth El, relayed the story of his cousin, girl died,” he said. “That’s hard to grapple education classes, reaching more than Rebecca, who died waiting for a liver with.” Eventually, he came to terms with 10,000 students. Diaz said, “When my transplant. If there had been more registhe cycle of life, knowing that good has wife died, she also became a tissue donor tered organ donors, she may have lived. come from her gift. He has made it his and helped restore sight to two lucky Rabbi Arnowitz has been a strong prolife’s mission to spread the word about recipients and skin was also donated for ponent of organ donation and an active organ donation, in honor of the eightuse in reconstructive surgery, burn, and advocate for LifeNet Health since moving year-old girl who changed his life. wound care.” to the area eight years ago. “The organizaEach speaker urged the audience Diaz had dental implants in 2006 tion is first-class, and I’ve seen first-hand to first, register as an organ donor, and and 2009 using donor bone implanted how delicately and carefully they handle second, spread the word and have converin his jaw to strengthen it for an eventual the body,” he said. It’s Arnowitz’ mission sations with family and friends about the implanted post and crown. He said, “Now to dispel the myths about organ and importance of organ and tissue donation. my daughter, wife, and the individual tissue donation, especially in the faith More than 115,000 people in the U. S. who provided me donor bone for my community. “The body has always been are waiting for life-saving organ transimplant did not die to donate, but because considered a sacred vessel for the soul,” plants, with 22 dying each day while they did die and were generous, they all said Arnowitz, “but contemporary leaders waiting, according to Donate Life Virginia. left a legacy to help others.” now see organ donation not as a desecraIn Virginia alone, nearly 2,600 people are Thom Hutchins’ son, Kyle, died at age tion of that vessel but as a way to give life waiting for organs, including about 2,000 22. “All his life, he gave,” said Hutchins. An to another human being. And that is the just for kidneys. asthma sufferer, Kyle died from respiramost sacred Jewish tenet of all.” tory failure two years ago. Though he had Al Diaz spoke from the perspective For more information about organ donation, not “checked the box” as an organ donor, as both a donor family member and as a visit LifeNetHealth.org. To register as a donor, Hutchins and his wife Melissa knew it was recipient. His daughter, Maria, was tragvisit RegisterMe.org. what Kyle would have wanted. In the end, ically killed in a single car accident on Organ Donation: The Gift of Life was his ultimate gift gave life—both kidneys, her way to the University of Virginia in presented by JFS in partnership with LifeNet his liver, and his heart—to four differ2001. Maria helped 69 people with her Health (program sponsor), the Brock Institute ent people. Because of Kyle, four people tissue gifts. The gift of her corneas helped of Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS), lived. The family has received letters of restore sight for two individuals and her and WHRO. TowneBank was the Presenting gratitude from each of the recipients, and heart valves, skin, bone, and connective Sponsor of the 15th Annual Spring Into those have helped them heal. Hutchins tissue helped restore health for many Healthy Living. Michael Zeiders with Zeiders read excerpts from the letters, including others. “Organ transplantation saves lives American Dream Theater graciously proone from a man who said that because of and rightfully get the headlines because vided the evening’s venue.
30 | Jewish News | June 24, 2019 | jewishnewsva.org
Emerging Philanthropists Council distributes first funds
Jump into summer fun at the Simon Family JCC
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With your membership, enjoy Emerging Philanthropists Council: Yael Schranze, Danial Watts, Zach Sissel, Marah Gordon, Joshua Sissel, Johny Williamson, Leo Kamer, and Lindsey Foer. Not pictured are Evan Gordon, Ellie Gordon, Liora Kaplan, and Jonathan Peck.
he Emerging Philanthropists Council was established with a Fund created at Tidewater Jewish Foundation to help Jewish teens learn about philanthropy by conducting their own grants process. In its first year, the EPC learned about tzedakah and how to think about different needs of individuals and communities when making philanthropic decisions. Representatives from Chabad of Tidewater, Jewish Family Service, Beth Sholom Village, BBYO, and the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater met with the teens and presented about their agencies and how they serve the community. Grant proposals were then submitted and the teens determined how to distribute $1,000. The first grant of $500 went to Jewish Family Service to purchase 50 $10 gift
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cards so families in need could obtain perishable groceries. EPC members felt it was important for people to have access to fresh food in addition to traditional food pantry staples that are usually canned or boxed. The EPC granted another $500 to Be A Reader to help purchase books and other educational materials for some of the 100 students from Title 1 schools who are part of the Be A Reader program. EPC members liked this request because they felt it would have both a short- and long-term impact, helping children develop a love for reading and learning and opening the door of opportunity for them.
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The EPC will meet again in the Fall of 2019. To get involved, contact Barb Gelb, UJFT director of development, at 757-965-6105 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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jewishnewsva.org | June 24, 2019 | Jewish News | 31
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32 | Jewish News | June 24, 2019 | jewishnewsva.org
Rethink the idea of retirement.