Jewish News - May 10, 2021

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Southeastern Virginia | Vol. 59 No. 15 | 28 Iyar 5781 | May 10, 2021

3 Start of 2021–2022 School Year revised For 2 area Districts

10 Lorraine Fink Leon Family Gallery Through mid-May

Lag B’Omer tragedy in Israel

Grief and condolences shared around the worl—page d 6 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Suite 200 Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462-4370 Address Service Requested

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Did Netanyahu just lose? Here’s what has happened in Israeli politics. Ben Sales

(JTA)—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has failed to form a government by the deadline imposed by Israeli law, thrusting the country into uncertain political territory yet again. This could mean that after more than 12 years as Israel’s prime minister, Netanyahu will have to leave office. But he’s been in this situation before and managed to survive. It all depends on what happens next: Another politician could replace him, or Israel could head to its fifth round of elections since 2019. Netanyahu has been trying desperately to avoid this very situation. But last month’s tragedy at Meron, where 45 people died in a stampede, dealt another blow to his attempts at building a coalition government. A fresh wave of criticism hit Netanyahu and his deputies for failing to enforce the law at the site where the

deaths occurred, and urgency grew for a government that would be able to address the tragedy. Here’s what you need to know. What happened Tuesday, May 4 and why does it matter? The important thing is what didn’t happen. Back in March, Netanyahu’s Likud party won the most votes in the most recent Israeli election. In early April, Netanyahu was given another chance to form a government. He had 28 days to convince a majority of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, to support him. Unfortunately for Netanyahu, the Knesset was split. Fewer than half the lawmakers supported him. About the same number opposed him, either because of ideology, his ongoing corruption trial or other longstanding grievances. A handful were undecided. Netanyahu has spent the past four


weeks trying to reconcile parties with opposing ideologies and turned to a series of potential compromises—like allowing one of his rivals to serve first as prime minister for a year. But he wasn’t able to secure a majority. On May 4 at midnight, Israel time, his 28 days expired. So, did Netanyahu lose? Not exactly. It all depends on who gets the next shot at forming a government. Israel’s largely ceremonial president, Reuven Rivlin, will decide the next stage of the process. He has three choices: • Give Netanyahu a 14-day extension; • Give another party leader the chance to form a coalition; or • Hand the process over to the entire Knesset without designating a leader. In April, Rivlin was reluctant to give Netanyahu any chance to form a government because of his trial and seems unlikely


to give him the extension. If the president hands control to a Netanyahu rival, that person then must form a coalition. The most likely candidates are either Yair Lapid, a centrist, or Naftali Bennett, a right-wing politician who has long been a frenemy of Netanyahu. Netanyahu’s rivals have been negotiating in his shadow for weeks, attempting to set up their own coalition should the prime minister fail. But it’s a foreboding challenge. Those opponents span the ideological spectrum, from left to right, and would need to forge a delicate balance in order to govern. But most Israeli politicians—let alone the voters—are exhausted by the never-ending cycle of elections. So, the politicians may feel compelled to find some way to form a coalition. Meanwhile, Netanyahu will remain prime minister of a caretaker government that is unable to advance major legislation or pass a budget.


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Start of school for 2021–2022 calendar year is revised for two local districts Rabbi Batya Glazer

Published 20 times a year by United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.

In Jewish Heritage Month proclamation, Biden recognizes Emhoff and Schumer— and the rise of anti-Semitism

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irginia Beach and Norfolk Public Schools will begin classes for the 2021–2022 school year on Thursday, September 9, 2021. This change will ease the transition back to school for Jewish families, eliminating the conflict between the first day of school and Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year. Classes were originally set to start on Rosh Hashanah, one of the most religiously and culturally significant observances of the Jewish year, as the holiday falls this year on the day after Labor Day. Both school districts voted at their board meetings to create a calendar that would best meet the needs of students, families, staff, administration, and the community. Prior to the vote in Virginia Beach, the Superintendent of Virginia Beach City Public Schools convened meetings of community and school system stakeholders and faith leaders, including local rabbis. In addition, the school board offered the public an opportunity to comment to the community. The Jewish Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater shares a calendar of Jewish holidays for the upcoming five years with local school districts, private schools, civic organizations, and more, as a resource for planning. In addition, the Anti-Defamation League offers guidance for students and teachers who seek accommodations for religious observance. The calendar, along with information from the ADL, can be found at

WASHINGTON (JTA)—In his proclamation marking Jewish American Heritage Month, President Joe Biden cited the precedents set by prominent Jews in politics this year and condemned the nation’s spike in anti-Semitism in recent years. Biden recognized Douglas Emhoff and Chuck Schumer, saying this year Americans saw “two historic firsts… the Vice President take the oath of office alongside her Jewish spouse, and a Jewish American became the first Majority Leader of the United States Senate and the highest-ranking Jewish American elected official in our Nation’s history.” Schumer, the Jewish Democrat from New York, became Senate majority leader in January when Democrats retook the Senate. “Alongside this narrative of achievement and opportunity, there is also a history—far older than the Nation itself—of racism, bigotry, and other forms of injustice,” Biden said. “This includes the scourge of anti-Semitism. In recent years, Jewish Americans have increasingly been the target of white nationalism and the anti-Semitic violence it fuels.” Biden’s decision to run for president was fueled in part by his perception that then-President Donald Trump was equivocating in condemning white supremacist violence and anti-Semitism. He said in his address to a joint session of Congress that white supremacists posed the greatest terrorist threat to Americans.

Contact Rabbi Batya Glazer, director, Jewish Community Relations Council, at with questions or for additional resources.

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Upcoming Deadlines for Editorial and Advertising May 31 Men/Dad/Grads May 14 June 14 Healthcare June 28 June 28 Seniors June 11 July 19 Guide to Jewish Living July 2 August 23 Rosh Hashannah August 6 Sept. 6 Yom Kipper August 20

Up Front . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Briefs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Your Dollars at work. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Lag b’Omer celebration at Israel Mt. Meron turns deadly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Israel opens inquiry in Mt. Meron catastrophe. . 7 Pope Francis mourns Mt. Meron victims . . . . . . 7 SIA holds in-person student conferences . . . . . . 8 UJFT’s Arts + Ideas has new dynamic duo. . . . . 9 Virtual auction of Lorraine Fink’s artwork earns big for visual arts programming. . . . . 10 White and Red Rose donors to Holocaust Commission. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11



CONTENTS Camp JCC’s leadership staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 A Shabbat-observant baseball phenom. . . . . . . 14 Simon Family Passport to Israel sending teens to Israel again. . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Birthright restarting trips to Israel. . . . . . . . . . 15 What’s Happening. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Who Knew?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Elie Weisel at National Cathedral. . . . . . . . . . . 20 Obituaries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 A cake better than babka. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Danial Watts receives Stein Family College Scholarship. . . . . . . . . 23

Friday, May 14/3 Sivan Light candles at 7:44 pm

“In Israel, the celebration has become a colorful event, where tens of thousands of mostly Hasidic Jews dance into the night to a soundtrack as diverse as the revelers.” —page 6

Friday, May 21/10 Sivan Light candles at 7:53 pm Friday, May 28/17 Sivan Light candles at 7:58 pm Friday, June 4/24 Sivan Light candles at 8:03 pm Friday, June 11/1 Tammuz Light candles at 8:06 pm Friday, June 18/8 Tammuz Light candles at 8:09 pm | May 10, 2021 | JEWISH NEWS | 3

BRIEFS BIDEN’S FIRST MEETING AS PRESIDENT WITH AN ISRAELI LEADER IS WITH MOSSAD CHIEF President Joe Biden met with the head of Israel’s intelligence agency, the Mossad, in his first meeting with an Israeli leader since assuming office in January. A National Security Council official said Biden dropped by a meeting Friday, April 30 between Yossi Cohen and Jake Sullivan, the U.S. national security adviser. The official told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that Biden expressed condolences for the catastrophic stampede at a Lag b’Omer celebration in northern Israel. Axios, citing Israeli sources, reported that Biden and Cohen also discussed Iran and that Biden told the Mossad chief that U.S. reentry into the Iran nuclear deal was not imminent. The NSC official denied the assertion. “The president did not characterize the status of the negotiations in Vienna,” the official said. “He did have a constructive exchange with Mr. Cohen.” Sullivan briefed top Israeli officials last month on the Biden administration’s negotiations in Vienna to reenter the 2015 Iran nuclear pact. Former President Donald Trump left the agreement in 2018, saying he wanted to pressure Iran into negotiating a more restrictive deal. Iran since then has ratcheted up its uranium enrichment to much higher levels. Biden believes that reentering the deal is the best means of keeping Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. IDAHO AND WEST VIRGINIA PASS ANTI-ISRAEL BOYCOTT LAWS Idaho and West Virginia have joined the growing list of states that over the past several years have passed anti-Israel boycott legislation aimed at outlawing businesses that support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. The bills passed this month bring the number of states with similar laws to 33. Idaho’s Anti-Boycott Against Israel Act states that public entities cannot do business over a total of $100,000 with companies that do not expressly oppose the BDS movement. West Virginia’s bill stipulates the same. “The State of West Virginia has an

economic and a humanitarian obligation to denounce and reject the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement against Israel, and to prevent the state or any of its instrumentalities from contracting with companies that engage in the movement,” the measure reads. Since 2015, anti-BDS laws have gained momentum, but also hit bumps along the way in the form of high-profile critics who argue the legislation hampers free speech. In 2019, the U.S. Senate, then controlled by the Republican Party, passed a bill by a vote of 77-23 that gave states legal cover to continue to introduce anti-BDS legislation. Some states and specific institutions have found themselves embroiled in free speech lawsuits over the laws. (JTA)

SEAN HANNITY DEMANDS APOLOGY FOR JERUSALEM POST ARTICLE Fox News personality Sean Hannity demanded an apology and a retraction from the Jerusalem Post for reporting on accusations that his use of the word “Bolshevik” to describe Bernie Sanders had anti-Semitic connotations. “I demand an immediate retraction & apology from the @Jerusalem Post,” Hannity tweeted Friday, April 30. “Israel has no greater friend, ally and supporter in the U.S. than me. I have a record of unwavering and passionate support for the state of Israel for 33 years on radio and 25 years on TV.” Hannity mentioned what he described as friendly relations with Israeli Prime Ministers Benjamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, and the late Shimon Peres, which he misspelled Perez. The Jerusalem Post article did not accuse Hannity of anti-Semitism, but reported on social media pushback against a tweet Hannity posted, saying “BOLSHEVIK BERNIE: Sanders Says Dems Just ‘Beginning to Create an Economy That Works For All’”. The Jerusalem Post traced the history of the use of the term “Bolshevism” as an anti-Semitic slander. The Hannity tweet linked to an article on his website that did not itself mention Bolshevism, the totalitarian expression of Communism practiced in Russia throughout much of the 20th Century, but instead described the standard social democrat

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postures Sanders, who is Jewish, has advocated for decades. The Post did not apologize or retract the article but updated it with a statement from Hannity. (JTA)

JARED KUSHNER LAUNCHES PEACE INSTITUTE TO ADVANCE ABRAHAM ACCORDS Jared Kushner has launched an institute to promote his major accomplishment when he advised his father-in-law, former President Donald Trump: the normalization agreements between Israel and a number of Sunni Arab countries. Kushner founded the Abraham Accords Institute for Peace with Avi Berkowitz, a friend who Kushner brought in to be the chief Middle East peace negotiator in the latter part of his father’s single presidential term, Axios reported. Berkowitz helped broker the accords that brought normalization agreements between Israel and Sudan, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain. The institute will promote trade, tourism, and people-to-people exchanges between Israel and the Arab countries. The other founders include Haim Saban, an Israeli American entertainment mogul who also is a major donor to the Democratic Party. Axios said that Kushner wants to bring more Democrats on board. The Abraham Accords is one of the few diplomatic initiatives launched by Trump that President Joe Biden has fully embraced. Kushner has laid low since his fatherin-law left office and has not pronounced on the false claims Trump peddles that Joe Biden’s election was fraudulent. Kushner, who led Trump’s 2016 and 2020 campaigns, is reportedly no longer among his father-in-law’s political advisers. (JTA) TOP ARMY CHAPLAIN DEDICATES TORAH AT FORT BLISS The top U.S. Army chaplain installed a Torah scroll at Fort Bliss, a sprawling base on the U.S.-Mexico border, following a three-month renovation of its synagogue. Maj. Gen. Thomas Solhjem led the April 26 dedication at the base, which is near El Paso, Texas, according to the Defense Visual Information Distribution

Service, a news service for the military. Solhjem praised the rabbis serving as chaplains under his command. “Jewish people have committed to the founding of our country, yet they were not always received and welcomed,” he said at the dedication. “Today’s Army is something much different. Across the Army at all three ‘compos,’ active, guard and reserve, we have three-dozen Jewish rabbis who serve our military family, the Jewish community and the soldiers, the men and women, who wear the uniform of this country.” Scott Klein, a first lieutenant who helps lead the Jewish religious community on the base, said the Torah installation signified more than the renovation of the base synagogue. “We’re celebrating a revival of Jewish life on this installation,” he said. (JTA)

VIRGINIA REPUBLICANS ACCOMMODATE VOTING FOR SHABBAT OBSERVERS The Virginia Republican Party, reversing a previous decision, created an opportunity for Jews to vote for a gubernatorial nominee before Shabbat starts. On Sunday, April 25, the party’s State Central Committee took a second vote and unanimously agreed to allow Orthodox Jews to vote during the day on May 7, a Friday, the day before the May 8 convention. They had to apply to do so by May 4. Several days earlier, a majority of the same committee had voted to accommodate Orthodox Jewish voters and others like Seventh-day Adventists who do not vote on Saturday, but the vote did not meet the 75% threshold to pass. Without the adjustment, voting to pick a nominee would have been confined to Shabbat hours. The Republican Jewish Coalition asked the party to reconsider. Two members of the Norfolk Orthodox Jewish community who are also active in the state GOP announced the change. The statement by Ian Cummings and Ken Reid referred to months of infighting over whether the party should have a convention or a primary to decide who among seven candidates deserves the party’s nod for governor. (JTA)


JDC Responds to COVID-19 Surge in India

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he American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee ( JDC), in coordination with the Indian Jewish community and its local partner SEWA Cooperative Federation, is responding to the devastating COVID-19 surge in India by deploying ventilators to hospitals in Mumbai and Ahmedabad. JDC is a United Jewish Federation of Tidewater partner agency. The ventilators, manufactured in Israel, are in high demand by increasingly overburdened medical services. JDC has been working in India since 1950 and has been responding to COVID-19 related needs there for the last year. JDC is raising additional funds to provide desperately needed oxygen, filtered masks, and other medical supplies through SEWA and telemedicine support for ICU doctors and nurses to consult with their peers in the U.S. and Israel. “Our heart goes out to the people of India at this desperate time. While the needs are overwhelming, we know the critical importance of providing these life-saving supplies and training as quickly as possible. We’re privileged to work with the local Jewish community and longtime NGO partners to expand our current pandemic efforts to address the new COVID-19 surge. Together, we’ll put into action the Jewish principle that to save even one life is to save an entire world,” said JDC CEO Ariel Zwang. JDC’s work in India comprises efforts with the 4,500-person Jewish community—including care for its neediest and Jewish cultural and educational opportunities—as well as support of vulnerable populations, like the poor in urban slums and women breadwinners, through economic empowerment and skill-building programs with local NGOs. JDC has previously responded to many disasters in

See how much we can save you! the region, including flooding in Kerala, the Nepal earthquake, and the Indian Ocean Tsunami. JDC’s disaster relief programs are funded by special appeals of the Jewish Federations of North America and tens of thousands of individual donors to JDC. JDC relief activities are coordinated with the U.S. Department of State, USAID, the Israeli government, and the United Nations, as well as local and international partners. JDC and its partners have recently responded to the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa and Asia as well as natural disasters in Mozambique, the Bahamas, Guatemala, Indonesia, and Mexico. The group continues its post-disaster development work in Philippines and Haiti and leads the Jewish Coalition for Disaster Relief ( JCDR), made up of 49 mostly North American Jewish organizations who address disasters and development challenges worldwide. This is part of a series of articles spotlighting local and overseas partner agencies that are beneficiaries of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s annual Community Campaign.

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ISRAEL What is Israel’s Mount Meron and why were so many Orthodox Jews gathered there for the Lag b’Omer holiday? Cnaan Liphshiz

(JTA)—“If you haven’t seen the joy of Lag b’Omer on the grave of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, you haven’t seen joy at all,” wrote the author Shmuel Yosef Agnon, Israel’s first Nobel Prize laureate. That description reflects an aspect of the annual pilgrimage to Mount Meron in northern Israel that was underlined by the deaths on Friday, April 30 of at least 45 revelers in a stampede: It is a place whose symbolism reflects a mix of grief and euphoria.

Part of the reason for last month’s tragedy appears to be rooted in the pilgrimage site itself—a remote and archaeologically significant site where construction is complicated both practically and for religious reasons—and the euphoric mindset of some pilgrims.

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Indeed, the tragedy struck during what for many observant Jews is among the happiest days of the year: the cessation of a period of mourning between the holidays of Passover and Shavuot during which many observant Jews abstain from weddings and haircuts. And it occurred exactly 110 years after another disaster at the site that killed at least 10 pilgrims in 1911. Part of the reason for last month’s tragedy appears to be rooted in the pilgrimage site itself—a remote and archaeologically significant site where construction is

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complicated both practically and for religious reasons—and the euphoric mindset of some pilgrims. The Talmud ties Lag b’Omer to a plague that killed thousands of students of Rabbi Akiva, among the greatest early rabbinic figures who legend has it was put to death by the Romans for defying their restrictions on teaching Torah. According to Jewish tradition, the plague ceased on Lag b’Omer, making that date a time of celebration. Lag b’Omer is also believed to be the date of death of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, a prominent disciple of Rabbi Akiva and a major figure in Jewish mysticism, or Kabbalah, whose gravesite on Mount Meron is the locus of festivities. Bar Yochai’s grave became a site for celebration because tradition has it that he asked his disciples to rejoice instead of mourn when they commemorate his death. In Israel, the celebration has become a colorful event, where tens of thousands of mostly Hasidic Jews dance into the night to a soundtrack as diverse as the revelers. It ranges from old hymns in Aramaic to Yiddish songs to techno music and Don McLean tunes sung to Hebrew lyrics celebrating the Torah. The pilgrimage to Mount Meron, located just outside the northern city of Safed, began in the 11th century at the gravesite of earlier sages—Hillel the Elder and Shammai the Elder—who are buried on the mountain as well. About 600 years ago, Shimon bar Yochai’s grave also began attracting pilgrims, eventually eclipsing the earlier rabbis, according to historians. A plethora of unusual customs has emerged around the Lag b’Omer pilgrimage. At one event, a white sheet is stretched on a stage and smeared with olive oil for long minutes in a ceremony that some believe corresponds to a mystical notion that wisdom can be absorbed through objects. Some young men also shoot bow and arrow while reciting their choice verses from the Bible as a means of fighting evil urges. Amid the euphoric dancing and

eccentric activities, revelers often display kindness and express brotherly love. It is not uncommon for revelers to hug. Entire dance parties routinely grind to a halt whenever one of the dancers loses their yarmulke so that the ritual object can be retrieved from the ground.

100 years ago another disaster occurred at the site

Women, particularly the newly devout, also flock to Mount Meron on Lag B’Omer, which has a separate women’s section. They pray passionately for hours. The event’s pinnacle is the lighting of the traditional Lag b’Omer fire as the crowd recites, mantra-like, “bizchut hatanah Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai”—Hebrew for “in the merit of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai of the Tannaim,” a reference to the generation of rabbis who flourished in the first two centuries of the Common Era. That’s exactly the moment when the Mount Meron pilgrimage tragedy happened in 1911. As thousands climbed a stone staircase to see the fire, the structure collapsed, killing at least 10 people. “Suddenly the frail metal railing tore off the roof, collapsing and dragging with it heavy rocks and the masses of people on it tumbled into the dense crowd below,” the Hapoel Hatzair journal reported about the incident. “A terrible sight unfolded, the buildings rocks and the metal rods appeared to have fused into a pitiless wrecking machine, there are 10 dead and 30 wounded. The feast became a beast, rivers of blood and streams of tears washed over the sage’s compound.” Shmuel Yosef Agnon was there, too. “I stood among them when they were alive,” he wrote. “And then I carried their bodies.”

ISRAEL Opening inquiry into Meron catastrophe, Israeli state comptroller cites earlier warnings about site’s safety Ron Kampeas

( JTA)—Israel’s state comptroller has launched an inquiry into the stampede at Mount Meron on Lag b’Omer that killed 45 celebrants, citing prior warnings from his office that the site was unsafe for mass use. “We must now examine and see how this incident should have been prevented,” Haaretz quoted Matanyahu Englman as saying on Monday, May 3. Englman also said he would explore assigning personal liability for the tragedy. He noted that reports by one of his predecessors in 2008 and 2011 found that structural changes to the site in northern Israel were made without oversight. Tens of thousands of Jews, most of them haredi Orthodox, gather at the site each year to commemorate the death of second-century Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, whose tomb is believed to be at the site. The Comptroller’s Office does not have enforcement powers. A number of Israelis, including Knesset members, are calling for a commission of inquiry that could recommend criminal indictments. Accusations so far have been aimed mostly at Prime Minister Benjamin

Pope Francis mourns Meron victims Ron Kampeas

(JTA)—Pope Francis expressed his “closeness” to the people of Israel in the wake of the deadly Lag b’Omer catastrophe at Mount Meron. “With sadness, I express my closeness to the people of Israel for the incident last Friday on Mount Meron that caused the death of 45 people and numerous injuries,” Francis said during his weekly address on Sunday, May 2 Reuters reported. He said he would remember the victims and the ones who mourn them in his prayers.

Netanyahu and two Cabinet members close to him, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri and Public Security Minister Amir Ohana. The trio reportedly removed restrictions for access to the site at a time that Netanyahu is cultivating haredi, or ultra-Orthodox, parties in a bid to form a government following the March elections. Benny Gantz, the Blue and White party leader who is justice minister, said he has asked the attorney general for a legal opinion about establishing a commission of inquiry. Gantz is among those seeking to keep Netanyahu from emerging as prime minister in the negotiations. Netanyahu has said he will set up a commission following the 30-day period of mourning.

At least 45 people dead in stampede at mass Lag b’Omer celebration (JTA)—At least 45 people were crushed to death and at least 150 wounded in a stampede during a celebration that drew tens of thousands of haredi Orthodox Jews to the northern Israeli mountain village of Meron. The stampede appears to be the worst civil disaster in Israel’s history, with a death toll topping that of the devastating 2010 Mount Carmel forest fire.

Concerns about safety in Meron have circulated for years. Video shows the disaster unfold. One video shows men tightly packed into a narrow ramp, then begin to press against each other from the top. Another shows people tearing down a barrier, apparently to relieve crowding, followed by frenzied running.

Biden offers assistance after tragedy President Joe Biden offered assistance to Israel in the wake of the deadly stampede. Biden said in a statement released by the White House that he had called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “The loss of life among worshipers practicing their faith is heartbreaking,” Biden said. “I have instructed my team to offer our assistance to the government

and people of Israel as they respond to the disaster and care for the wounded.” “The people of the United States and Israel are bound together by our families, our faiths, and our histories, and we will stand with our friends,” Biden said. “Our prayers are with those who were injured and all those who lost loved ones. May their memories be a blessing.” (JTA)

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Strelitz International Academy holds in-person student conferences Carin Simon


ommunication between parents and teachers is an important part of the experience at Strelitz International Academy. Parents are always encouraged

Theo Lanier tells his mom all about a recent project in Kindergarten.

to contact their child’s teacher with questions or concerns that arise during the school year. SIA’s goal is to bring out the best in each student and a critical part of that process is parents and teachers working together. At the beginning of the year, parents and students are usually invited to meet their child’s teacher at a Back to School Meet and Greet. This year, with COVID protocols in place, each teacher held a virtual meeting to meet students and parents excited about the new school year. A few weeks later in September, parents were invited to meet with the teacher to learn more about the curriculum for their child’s grade, classroom expectations, and how they could support their children in their new grade level. During the school year, which is divided into trimesters, parents receive a very detailed report card carefully

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explaining their child’s strengths and areas for grow th. Each teacher is very thorough in their narrative assessments g iv ing parents an accurate picture of their child’s academic, social, and emotional progress. Parent and teacher conferences are offered in the fall and student led Madeline Cohen in EY4 shares her new global knowledge. conferences are planned in the spring. Parents are always invited to contact their child’s teacher if an issue or concern arises at another time. Now, with most of the SIA teacher community vaccinated, SIA was thrilled to hold in-person conferences outside this spring, on school grounds, with distancing and masking protocols followed. As an IB Candidate School, this is an important part of the learning and evaluation process. During the conference, students shared their IB Portfolio with their parents. The portfoAdielle Udaghan, Grade 3 shares her IB Portfolio lio includes special projects and student with her mom, Uti. reflections to document each student’s growth as a learner. In addition to report cards and parent conferences, regular teacher-parent communication is an essential part of student growth. SIA uses a communication platform called, which allows teacher-to-parent, parent-to-teacher and school-wide messages to be sent. Parents can program the messenger system to be delievered to their email, phone, or both to ensure they are alerted to all important school messages. From infant care to SIA’s outstanding academic program, parents can feel Yael Haas, Grade 3, reads her portfolio. secure knowing that their children are in the best learning environment as they grow and develop into confident and Carin Simon is admission director for Strelitz high achieving students ready to take on International Academy. She may be reached the world. at

Local Relationships Matter


UJFT’S Arts + Ideas has a new dynamic duo


he Arts + Ideas department of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and Simon Family JCC has a new professional team working on arts programming for the Jewish community—presenting some of the most exciting programs taking place in the region. Jill Grossman is the department’s new director, and Robyn Sidersky has joined as its manager. From the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and Simon Family JCC’s signature festivals, the Lee and Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival, Patricia & Avraham Ashkenazi and Alma & Howard Laderberg Jill Grossman Virginia Festival of Jewish Film, to a vibrant and exciting Israel Fest, exhibiting art in the Leon Family Gallery, welcoming performing artists through Israel Today, and, soon to be curating theatrical, comedic, and musical experiences, the pair has exciting ideas with an eye on making an impact on Tidewater’s Robyn Sidersky cultural scene. Grossman spent 15 years managing a business—changing the company’s culture, branding, and marketing strategy. In addition to her business background, Grossman is trained in yoga and meditation practices and has taught all over the world. She’s also spent time volunteering on medical missions in underdeveloped countries. Two years ago, Grossman joined the nonprofit world, when she began working at UJFT as a program associate. She started her new role in March. “With my professional and volunteer

experience, and after working with the amazing team that is the UJFT/JCC Programs Department, I saw this as a fantastic opportunity to help develop and implement strong, relevant Jewish cultural programming which aligns with the mission and values of our organization and our community,” Grossman says. Sidersky has been a reporter for the past 15 years—in Florida, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Most recently, she spent five years at The Virginian-Pilot, covering some of the region’s biggest news. She’s also a teen advisor and volunteer at Ohef Sholom Temple. Her new role provides an opportunity to keep making a difference locally, in a new way. “I wanted to continue doing good in our community, with an organization I feel passionately about and our Jewish programming aligns with my own values,” says Sidersky. “I’m excited to work with Jill and our amazing Arts + Ideas committee leadership to continue to develop and grow captivating experiences for our community.” Sidersky says she feels that cultural programming is central to the community and believes it is a way for Jews to connect with experiences enhanced through synagogue and other community partnerships. Have ideas for future Arts + Ideas programs? Interested in joining the Arts + Ideas committee or one of the Festival subcommittees? Reach Grossman at and Sidersky at


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Rare find available at Phoebus Auction Monday, May 31


he auction business can be an historian’s dream come true. People and Items connected to the events of history constantly appear. Provenance is a constant attraction. These people and events occupy the auctioneer’s thoughts and efforts, with family stories expanding into a new view of past events. Phoebus Auction recently received a unique and heavily carved desk and bookcase to be included in its Memorial Day Auction. The items had been the property of the Chief Rabbi Zsigmond Groszmann of the Dohany Street Synagogue in Budapest, Hungary in the years prior to World War II. The desk and bookcase were created in 1928 by Hungarian Master Carver Ullman. The desk apron depicts a scene from Exodos 17 as Moses strikes the rock in the Desert of Sin and water gushes forth. Moses is joined by his Brother Aaron and the jubilant Israelites. This marked the creation of Miriam’s Well (Be’erah shel Miriam) the name of the spring that miraculously provided water and accompanied the Israelites throughout the 40 years they traveled in the wilderness. Detailed carvings of Atlas support the ends of the double pedestal desk. Family lore has the desk removed to Austria after the war and then brought to the United States. The Bookcase, also attributed to

Virtual auction of Lorraine Fink’s donated works reaps funds for visual arts programming

Kerri R. Cohen

Ullman, is of massive scale with three heavily carved sections. Intricately carved blind doors feature Jeremiah, mourning the loss of the First Temple in the manner painted by Rembrandt. The right door represents a carving of Moses as by Michelangelo from the Tomb of Pope Julius II, Church, San Pietro in Rome. Each carving has overlays of garlands and ribbons and is supported by Griffins. Additionally, more carvings of Griffin faces cover other surfaces of the bookcase. The center door is beveled glass with arched top. The top of the case is supported by muscular carvings of the Greek Titan ATLAS. The base is supported by massive animal paw feet. The scope of the carvings and their massive scale make this a monumental work of art. The desk and bookcase may be viewed at the Phoebus Auction Gallery through May 31. The Auction will be conducted at the Phoebus Auction Gallery at 18 E Mellen St. in Hampton, beginning at 10 am on Monday, May 31. Preview is the Thursday through Sunday prior to Memorial Day, 11 am–5 pm. http:// Phone tag starts at 757-722-9210; ask for Bill.

10 | JEWISH NEWS | May 10, 2021 |


he traditional in-person experience of art might have temporarily receded into the past, but for local artist Lorraine Fink, not even a pandemic could keep her art from the community she loves. Last month, United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and Simon Family JCC held a hybrid 10-day art auction of a collection of Fink’s paintings. Fink donated the work to support visual arts programming and classes at the JCC. Through May 10, the Leon Family Gallery is exhibiting nearly 100 pieces from this 96-year-old award-winning artist. This collection comprises less than half of her completed works from the last 36 months. Multiple generations of Fink’s family enjoy her creations, with one grandchild recently asking where her talent stemmed from and pondering to whom she may have passed it on. Created with mixed mediums, mostly ink and watercolor, the pieces in this collection have a central theme of symbolic freedom and playful morphing. With an eye towards safety, the bidding and purchasing of Fink’s art turned to cyberspace, where a virtual platform enabled hopeful bidders the opportunity to own one of these works. Dozens of people have already taken a journey into the artistic world of her creations, and many pieces were successfully auctioned

off. With multiple bids coming in, the virtual art auction was a surprisingly fun and engaging experience. “UJFT and Simon Family JCC wish to convey a heartfelt thank you to the Fink family for their generosity in donating the paintings and to our auction sponsors, Yianni’s Wine & Food and The Royal Chocolate, for their support and partnership!” says Betty Ann Levin, executive vice president/CEO, UJFT/JCC. While the days of live auctions, exhibit openings, and crowds of people meandering through a gallery are not what they have always been, the Leon Family Gallery is open. A selection of paintings are still available for purchase. Contact Kerri Cohen at or 757-965-6138 for more information.



he Holocaust Commission gratefully acknowledges the following White Rose and Red Rose donors from this year’s annual campaigns to raise funds to continue our vital programming. We could not provide the vital educational support we offer to teachers, the military, and the community without the gifts of these caring donors.


Janice J. Aleck Marilyn Allison and Sid Bass Judy Anderson Barry Ashburn Dr. Allison Ashe and Mr. Forrest Williams Jr. Michael and Mitzi Ashe Marilyn and Michel C. Ashe Leslie and Andy Auerbach Sherry B. Baron Patsy and Burt Barr Miriam and Steven Becker Joan and Al Benas Lei Lei and Rob Berz Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey F. Brooke Ellie and Lenny Brooke Norma Abrams Butler Alexandra and David Calliott Ms. Marsha Chenman Merle Cogen and Reece Livingston Mr. and Mrs. Nathaniel J. Cohen Lisa and Joel Cohn Edith Dealy Harriet and Stanwood Dickman Joseph Drory Captain and Mrs. Marshall Duny Susan and Jim Eilberg Lois and Barry Einhorn Joyner and Barrie Engel Dr. and Mrs. Joseph Familant Bessie Finder and Andrea Finder Zarge IMO Phyllis and Joseph Finger, of blessed memory Elisa and Pat Finneran Cantor Elihu Flax Pastor and Mrs. Bob Fox Lucille and Irving Frank Mrs. Rita Frank Dr. and Mrs. Eric Freeman Jodie and Jack Frieden Ina and Moss Friedman Louise and Martin Friedman Marcus and Ronnie Friedman Arnold Gamsey Lodge, B’nai B’rith Pam Gladstone Tom and Joanne Glass Dr. and Mrs. Charles Goldman June Goldman Freida Goldstein

Sandra and Howard Gordon Joyce and Harry Graber Glenda and Lewis Greenhouse Ellen and Jon Harris Mrs. Marilyn S. Holzsweig Steven Hornstein David Jacobs and Sylvia Liu Connie Jacobson Mrs. Irene Janow Jeanette and Harold Juren Ivor and Susan Kaplan and family Janet and Billy Kass Peter and Galina Kastin Arlene and Isidoro Kessel Barbara Klaff Herb Kline Brenda and Mark Kozak Sheila and Matt Krakower Arthur and Emmy Lou Kreger Alan Kurzer Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Laibstain Shirley S. Legum Jay W. Legum Rachel Lev Judith Ann Levine Margaret and Frederic Levitin Marilyn Levy Linda and Jonathan Longman Fred McCall Robert and Melanie McCarthy Sabina and Byron McPherson The Miller Family Ms. Nancy L. Millstein Debra Lubar Moore Betty Moritz Iris and Ben Moss Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth Muhlendorf Joy Murray Hedy and Ozzie Osmunson Rabbi Michael and Sheila Panitz Bob Pasternack and Cathy Healy Rhona Peck Nancy and Stanley Peck Rona and David Proser Ilene Putterman Sara and Adam Rafal Beth Reshefsky Judy and Reuven Rohn Nancy and Steve Rosenberg Carol B. Rosenblatt IMO Fred Rosenblum Rabbi Arthur and Miriam Brunn Ruberg Dr. and Mrs. Robert M. Rubin Betty Sacks Carolyn and Peter Sallmaier Marcia Samuels and David Kamer VeeVee and Jon Scott Naomi Limor Sedek Dr. and Mrs. Robert Seltzer Patty and Herm Shelanski Carol and Lou Sherman Drs. Laurie and Gary Siegel Jim Soltz Barbara Spigel Mr. and Mrs. Michael Steiner

Susan Feit and Eitan Stern Mr. and Mrs. Howard K. Taylor and Beth Emet Messianic Synagogue Dr. and Mrs. Louis Tonelson Dena Vernik Patti and Jules Wainger Philip and Mary Ann Walzer Trudy and Martin Waranch Steven Warsof Michelle Waterman Joseph and Irene Weintrob Janis and Edward Weisberg Drs. Alice and Eric Werner Ellen Willner Allison and Zachary Wohlgemuth Charlotte and Ari Zito Anonymous (3)


Golden Angels Reba and Sam Sandler Foundation IHO Barbara Rosenblum and IMO Martha and Jack Weissberg Simon Family Foundation Bank of America Helen G. Gifford Foundation Angels Clay H. Barr Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Dreyfus Alan and Esther Fleder Foundation Carol and Joel Jason Ed Reed Tova Goldman Tritt and Shawn Tritt Patrons Lisa Bertini and Jack Siegel Joan Brock Lynn and Hugh Cohen Ann and Bobby Copeland Susan and Paul Hirschbiel Sheila and Bob Josephberg Leon Family Fund IMO Linda Belkov, by Lisa Belkov Snyder and family Renee and John Strelitz Sponsors Dr. Jordan Asher and Ms. Jody Mattison Avraham Ashkenazi Wendy and Frank Auerbach Betty and Ken Berklee Sonia and Marshall Bonnie Todd and Robin Copeland Arthur Diamonstein Nathan and Leora Drory Barbara and Andrew Fine Gail and Joel Flax Matthew Galumbeck Mark and Karen Gilbert Stacey and Todd Goldman Dale and Jonathan Jacobs Mr. Richard Jacobson and family Cindy and Ron Kramer Celia K Krichman Charitable Trust Joan Kaplan London Jeanne and Julius Miller Dr. Alfred “Buzzy” Schulwolf Leslie and Larry Siegel Lawrence Steingold Jane and Jim Wells Supporters Helen and Warren Aleck Babbi and Brad Bangel

Margaret Baumgarten and Max Mirovski Elena and Gary Baum Lauren and Alex Barkan Mr. and Mrs. Michael Barney Dr. Alan G. Bartel Susan and Jon Becker Ilana and Nathan Benson Elise Berkowitz and family Lisa Ehrich and Rob Bernstein Paula and Michael Blachman Dr. Herbert and Susan Brewer Dr. and Mrs. Ronald Brodsky Marilyn and Stuart Buxbaum Pam Campbell, IHO Robert Bruce Givens, 71st Infantry Elyse and David Cardon Dana Cohen Michael Cohen Susan and Andy Cohen Esther and Glenn Diskin Randi, Trevor, Edie, and Britt Dunlap Rachael and John Feigenbaum Diane and Jeffrey Fine Karen and Matthew Fine Mr. and Mrs. Alan Frieden Alicia and Robert Friedman Leslie Friedman IMO Richard Glasser Bootsie Goldmeier Dr. and Mrs. Randolph Gould Dr. and Mrs. Bernie Grablowsky William and Jeri Jo Halperin Mickey and Stuart Held Marcia Hofheimer Ellen Rostov Hundley Beth and Nathan Jaffe Norma and Alan Jaffe Joan and Eric Joffe Kathy and Jerry Kantor Betsy and Ed Karotkin Linda H. Kaufman Jodi and Jay Klebanoff Ronnie Jane and Steve Konikoff Anne and Ed Kramer Irwin Kroskin and Nancy Kanter IMO Ruthi Kroskin Amy and Kevin Lefcoe and family Marty and Ina Mirman Leiderman Betty Ann and Scott Levin Ina Levy Shelley and Jeff Loeb Joe and Joanie Lust Honey and David Maizel and family Marty and Rabbi Rosalin Mandelberg Vivian and Burke Margulies Cassie and Bob McBride Deborah and Jerry Meltsner Marcia and Burton Moss Rena and Michael Myers Stephanie and Paul Peck Carole and Aaron Peck Matrtin and Judy Snyder Phyllis and Michael Sperling Harlan and Beth Vingan Dr. Alan and Jody Wagner Valerie and Matthew White Mr. and Mrs. David Wolfe Megan and Steve Zuckerman Anonymous (2) | May 10, 2021 | JEWISH NEWS | 11

Summer Camp is backt Session 1 June 21 - July 2


Session 2 July 5 - July 16 Session3 July 19-30


Camp JCC—Meet the team Dave, Sarah, Sierra, Lavette, Elyssa, Kate-Lynn, Chris, and Michelle look forward to seeing campers this summer


TENTATIVE Session 4 August 2-13

No Experience Necessary! Just a drive to have fun and learn about Musical Theater & Theater 101.


xcited to be back in person this summer, Camp JCC’s leadership staff has both new and familiar faces. The extensive experience among these individuals, along with their collective synergy, differentiates and highlights the quality of Camp JCC. Meet the team: Dave Flagler is director of Camp and Teen Engagement at United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and Simon Family JCC. He has been a camp director or assistant director for 10 summers and has spent many more as a camper, CIT, counselor, specialist, and program leader. Flagler enjoys Dave Flagler, dressing in costume, the director of Camp and Teen Engagement. car pick-up line, making anything into a song or cheer, and generally just being loud. Flagler’s favorite parts of camp are the silly organic moments, the planned and spontaneous activities alike that campers talk about all year, and seeing the tremendous growth of campers and their families day to day, week to week to week, and summer to summer. When not at Camp JCC, Flagler enjoys playing guitar, singing karaoke, and cheering on the Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots, and Florida Gators.

For Ages 5+ More information at To Enroll Call 757-627-5437








Sarah Cooper, Camp JCC administrator.


12 | JEWISH NEWS | Summer | May 10, 2021 |

Sarah Cooper is the Camp JCC administrator, in addition to her other UJFT/Simon Family JCC roles. She has been with the Simon Family JCC for more than three years and previously served as an educator in public schools. Cooper is especially excited for camp this year because camp is a special place for children to learn and practice social skills. She loves how this learning takes place with so much

excitement and energy that it does not feel like learning. Cooper also loves to see the friendships that form as campers get to know each other throughout the summer. When not at camp, Cooper enjoys playing volleyball, going on road trips, and spending time with friends and family. Sierra Lautman, director of Jewish Innovation at UJFT, has been an informal and formal Jewish educator for more than a decade. This will be Lautman’s third summer working with a JCC summer camp. Lautman discovered the magic of camp as a second grade unit head, and loves seeing that magic reflected in her own children’s eyes. When she is not at Sierra Lautman, camp, you can find her director of Jewish Innovation. doing yoga, or having fun with her husband and two children at the beach or on a road trip to Pittsburgh to visit their extended family. Lavette Ricks is the new Head of Camp Katan and serves as a lead toddler teacher and sundown program coordinator for grades 1–4 at Strelitz International Acadamey. This will be Ricks’ third summer as a part of Camp JCC. She particularly enjoys the morning’s Boker Tov and arts and crafts. She is also very excited for the resuming pool activities Lavette Ricks, Head of Camp Katan. and is looking forward to swim lessons and campers’ time in the pool. Ricks has also appeared twice on the local news and does not have a favorite color. When not at Camp JCC, Ricks enjoys traveling and has been to 12 different countries.

Summer Elyssa Brinn, the incoming director of the Strelitz Early Years Program, has previously served as director of Lower Camp and will serve this year in a consulting capacity. When her promotion was announced, Brinn said that, even though Lavette Ricks is an amazing camp director, she could allow hersel to not be a part of camp. Brinn has been involved with Camp JCC for 10 years and she enjoys the spirit and is excited for people to simply be together. When not at Camp JCC, Brinn enjoys boxing, reading, the beach, and cooking new things. Elyssa Brinn, incoming drector of Strelitz Early Years Program.

Kate-Lynn Cipolla, Head of Camp Gadol.

Kate-Lynn Cipolla, a special education teacher’s assistant at Sheldon Park Elementary School and an ODU student, will take over as the head of Camp Gadol. Cipolla has been a part of Camp JCC and JCC Kids Connection for five years. Her favorite part about camp is the campers and struggled with how “weird” it was for us not to be together at camp last summer. When not at Camp JCC, Cipolla can be found on the beach or cooking for family and friends. Chris Fenley, a teacher at Grandy High School in Norfolk, resumes his role as specialist coordinator this summer. Fenley has been a part of Camp JCC for more than 20 years and even met his wife at camp. Aside from being able to teach his passions and hobbies, he loves how everything is in motion at camp. This past summer he missed the sense of camaraderie and is looking forward to that again, especially at Shabbat. At camp, he can be found teaching art, fishing, and occasionally, surfing. While not at camp, Fenley also enjoys kayak fishing.

Michelle Fenley, a licensed clinical social worker at Jewish Family Service, serves as Yachad Inclusion Program coordinator. Fenley has been with Camp JCC for more than 20 years and even met her husband at camp. Fenley enjoys the songs, the excitement, and especially the ruach and energy that happens every day at summer camp. Camp JCC brings out the individuality and creativity in every child and she loves seeing friendships form and rekindle each summer. At camp, in addition to supporting all of the Michelle Fenley, Yachad Inclusion Program coordinator and Chris Fenley, Specialist campers, Fenley might be found at the pool or coordinator. spontaneously teaching yoga. When she is not at camp, Fenley enjoys running, hiking, stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, and being in the great outdoors. For more information about Camp JCC or to register, visit or contact Dave Flagler at dflagler or 757-452-3182.




Jewish News Digital Edition See the paper 3 days before the cover date:

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This Shabbat-observant baseball phenom has his eyes on a Major League career. Can it be done? Rob Charry

(JTA)—Is it possible to play Major League Baseball while being a Sabbath-observant Jew? It’s a question that could have an answer within the next few years if Elie Kligman, an 18-year-old from Las Vegas, has anything to say about it. Kligman is considered one of the top high school players in the West and is being recruited by major colleges. The 6-foot, 185-pound senior plays several infield positions and pitches. But his sports agent father, Marc, thinks his best route to the majors would be as a switch-hitting, strong-armed catcher. Kligman has registered for baseball’s new draft portal, where prospective picks fill out information forms. Neither the colleges nor the pros have gotten to see much of Kligman on the field over the past two seasons because of COVID, as there have been few games to showcase his talents. Kligman likely would have accepted a scholarship to college as early as last summer, before his senior year, but now expects to make that decision by July at the latest. (He preferred not to say which schools are recruiting him, but said they are in Division I, the highest rung in college sports.) Marc Kligman does not expect his son to be picked in July’s MLB draft—but he didn’t rule it out, adding that he believes his older of two sons is ready for that step, even with the COVID obstacles. And if a team makes a good enough offer, Marc Kligman would encourage Elie to take it. Why does Elie Kligman think he could convince a major league team to sign a Sabbath-observant player, one who wouldn’t be available for as many as two games a week? The teenager is ready with a quick response. “Most guys don’t play 162 games a year. If I’m a catcher, not playing three

days in the week or two days in the week is pretty normal, so I don’t think it would be that different from other guys,” he says. “I would just be missing different days.” There would be even fewer obstacles if Kligman made it as a pitcher, with starters going every fifth game and relievers rarely appearing in more than three games in a row.

We’ve had many people reach out to us and ask for Elie to speak to schools, religious day schools, to communities. They’re just all very inspired that here’s a religious Jewish boy with a Jewish first name, Jewish last name, playing baseball, and he’s not compromising, not letting it get in the way.

Marc Kligman says people have reached out to him with instances of pitchers who overcame religious restrictions—Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson had a contract stating that he wouldn’t pitch on Sundays out of respect for his religious mother. Ed Correa, a White Sox pitcher in the mid-1980s was a Seventh-day Adventist who didn’t pitch from sundown Friday to sunset Saturday. And then, of course, there’s the legend of Sandy Koufax, who sat out Game 1 of the 1965 World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur. Kligman, who attends the public Cimarron-Memorial High School online during the pandemic, says playing on Shabbat and Yom Kippur is a nonstarter, regardless of the game’s importance. He has raced to the ballpark after sundown.

14 | JEWISH NEWS | May 10, 2021 |

“I’ve showed up at games halfway through,” he says. The decision not to play on Shabbat is a personal and a family decision. “It’s the way I was raised, the way our family goes about everything,” he says. “Don’t play on Shabbos.” Teammates, he says, “have been very supportive.” “They usually ask me a lot of questions, like, what do you do on Shabbos, why can’t you be here, but everyone is super respectful of all the things that I have to follow and what I do,” Kligman says. Asked how he would classify his family’s Judaism, Marc Kligman says, “Labels are tough. We consider ourselves to be observant, religious Jews. The people that we pray with, and the customs that we follow is Chabad, which is part of the Hasidic movement.” The family’s Jewish community has been mostly supportive of Elie Kligman in his pursuit. “The people that we’ve known have always known we’ve been doing this for a long time,” he says. “The support from everybody has been positive, they come to games, they ask me about games.” Marc Kligman says not everyone is on board, however. “I think those who don’t understand maybe think this is nonsense, that kids should be studying to become rabbis and teach at yeshivas,” he says. “But most of the Chabad rabbis realize that there are things that Elie and myself can do through the medium of baseball, and what we accomplish to try to bring people closer to Torah and Judaism, that they can’t. “We’ve had many people reach out to us and ask for Elie to speak to schools, religious day schools, to communities. They’re just all very inspired that here’s a religious Jewish boy with a Jewish first name, Jewish last name, playing baseball, and he’s not compromising, not letting it

get in the way. To the vast amount of very observant Jews that’s very inspirational, especially to young kids.” It only takes one team to make this story happen, Marc Kligman says, noting however that half the pro teams won’t even bother to look at a high school catcher. “It takes so long to develop a catcher. Organizations want them to go to college and figure it all out and come out more mature at 21,” he says. “But the other half of the organizations are potentially interested because they want to mold them the way they want to mold them at a young age.” Marc Kligman was a high school catcher himself growing up in a Jewish, but not particularly religious household in Stamford, Connecticut. “Gary Carter was someone I tried to emulate,” he says, recalling the Hall of Fame backstop for his favorite team, the New York Mets, and Montreal Expos, among others. Elie Kligman was raised in San Diego before the family moved to Las Vegas, but he wasn’t a Padres fan. “My favorite player was Roy Halladay,” he says, recalling the late pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies. “I was watching the Phillies a lot. I was in kindergarten when they won it all [in 2008]. I really liked watching Halladay pitch.” (Halladay was traded to the Phillies before the 2010 season.) Kligman got to meet his idol at a Phillies-Padres game in San Diego through a family “friend”—Carlos Ruiz, the longtime Phillies catcher who caught four no-hitters, including two pitched by Halladay. Ruiz happened to be Marc Kligman’s client, and Marc arranged for the meeting. “It was pretty cool. Our pony league team had gone into a locker room at the Padres stadium,” Elie recalls. “Carlos continued on page 15


Simon Family Passport to Israel helps Birthright restarting trips to Israel 8 teens head to Israel this summer as nation nears herd immunity Thomas Mills


idewater Jewish Foundation’s Simon Family Passport to Israel will send eight students to Israel after a yearlong program pause due to the pandemic. “With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the world last year, we simply couldn’t have students travel in the summer of 2020,” says Naomi Limor Sedek, president and CEO of Tidewater Jewish Foundation. “Now, with the world slowly re-opening, we’re happy to see a renewed interest in the Simon Family Passport to Israel program and see Jewish students participate in an Israel experience.” The Simon Family Passport to Israel program was established by Marvin Simon, who believed it was important for young people to experience Israel. The program provides funds to enable and encourage Jewish students to participate in a trip to Israel. Trips that qualify include educational and peer group experiences. Previous recipients of the program have traveled to the Sea of Galilee, participated

continued from page 14

brought a couple of players in—Placido Polanco, Cliff Lee. When Roy Halladay walked in, it was kinda like, whoa!” Ruiz remains like family to the Kligmans. While he was unable to attend Kligman’s bar mitzvah—several players did—he was there for younger brother Ari’s coming-of-age rite. During the recent Zoom interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, a framed Ruiz jersey was visible over Elie’s right shoulder. “I think Carlos was a big influence on Elie,” Marc Kligman says. “That’s maybe where he got his love for catching. To be a good catcher you really have to love it, it’s too hard of a position. For now, Elie Kligman says he will play any position a team wants, as long as it gets him to the big leagues. He’ll be

in a BBYO leadership seminar, studied at the elite learning institution Yeshivas Toras Moshe, and, of course, ridden camels. “We’re so excited to help Jewish students travel to Israel this year,” says Kaitlyn Oelsner, TJF’s director of philanthropy. “Be on the lookout for their stories and experiences over the coming months.” Qualifying trips are organized by a non-profit organization or educational or religious institution, are staffed by appropriate personnel, and have a structured itinerary. Jewish students between the ages of 13 and 18 may apply, and those students over 18 may apply as long as they indicate why a Birthright Israel trip will not meet their current needs. Trips will be funded up to 30% of the eligible expenses, with a maximum of $6,000 per student. Applications for Simon Family Passport to Israel will re-open on October 1, 2021. For more information, visit or contact Ann Swindell at or 757-965-6106.

playing in showcases and tournaments after his high school season, and there’s a chance he could be working out with players from Team Israel next month and in July. Someday he’d like to play for the Jewish state’s squad. By midsummer, Kligman will know which path he will take, college or the minor leagues. Bottom line, he says, the teen knows what he wants to do: “Play baseball.” Marc Kligman recalls a conversation he had with his son a few years ago. “He said I’m ready for it. I want to see if we can make it work,” Marc Kligman says. “God first, being observant, religious, understanding the world is created for service to God, and to make the world a better place. Why can’t baseball and being observant coexist?”

Ron Kampeas

(JTA)—Birthright, the organization that flies young Jews to Israel for a free 10-day tour, will resume its trips now that the pandemic appears to be winding down. “Birthright Israel will resume providing the gift of educational trips to Israel for eligible individuals aged 18–32 from the United States who are vaccinated or recovered,” its statement said. “Dozens of trips are expected in May and June, and more than 400 tour groups are planned

for July, August and October.” Participants will be required to test for coronavirus before boarding and upon arrival, the statement said. A factor was Israel, a world leader in coronavirus vaccination, nearing herd immunity. The organization has brought over 750,000 young Jews to Israel over 20 years, including close to 46,000 in 2019. Along with a number of other organizations, Birthright suspended trips to Israel after the pandemic outbreak.


Enrichment Help your child improve skills and build confidence!

On-Campus Group & Virtual Individual Options Intensive Reading, Math & Technology Enrichment, Summer Learning, Supportive Math & Academic Therapy Half & Full Day Offerings Grades 1 – 8

Learn more and register online: · 757.497.6200 | May 10, 2021 | JEWISH NEWS | 15

WHAT’S HAPPENING “There is much left unsaid” Mimi Lemay says about book following her viral essay to her transgender son Wednesday, May 12, noon, via Zoom, free Robyn Sidersky


fter Mimi Lemay wrote a letter to her son, Jacob, she realized she had more to say. The letter, turned into an essay that went viral, led her to write a book, What We Will Become: A Mother, a Son, and a Journey of Transformation. Lemay will join the Tidewater community on Zoom as part of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and Simon Family JCC’s Lee and Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival. Lemay’s son, Jacob, adamantly told his family when he was two-and-a-half that he was a boy. On Jacob’s fifth birthday, Lemay wrote the letter that many know her for today. “There was so much left unsaid, after the essay, so many moments of transformation for me as a parent, and for my son as a transgender child,” Lemay wrote in an email. “The essay was a love letter, a birthday letter to my son, but it did not explain how my past, raised as an ultra-Orthodox woman, enabled me to be the mother Jacob needed.” The book was a way to share their journey. “To me, the book was an opportunity

for me to invite readers to experience every significant moment on this journey alongside me—from the confusion, despair, to the moments of revelation and redemption. I often feel that if we were able to view the world through one another’s eyes, there would be greater understanding and a shared sense of the value and dignity of every living being.” Lemay weaves together narratives of faith and motherhood in What We Will Become. Transgender Activist Gavin Grimm praised Lemay’s memoir. “What We Will Become is a triumphant, introspective story about being and becoming. It beautifully reminds us of the challenges, but also the necessity, of unconditional love, both for ourselves and for those we care about. It gives me hope for the future of transgender children.” Grimm, from Gloucester, came out as transgender during his sophomore year of high school. His use of the boys bathroom prompted the school board to rule that school restrooms and locker rooms were reserved for students of the “corresponding biological genders.” The case has risen to the high courts and the school board asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review

the ban. In her memoir, Lemay hopes readers take away a sense of wonder, and that while there is much that may not be understood about gender and identity, the journey can and should be a beautiful one. There is much Jewish communities can do to be more welcoming and accepting of transgender people. “First and foremost, we must understand that transgender people, too, are born B’tzelem Elokim, in the image of God,” Lemay says. “They have much to teach us about who we truly are— beyond the guf, body, into which we are born. Be sure that they, too, feel welcome in our communities. People of the Jewish faith have always taken it upon themselves to fight for justice. Today, transgender people are fighting for equality and justice in legislation, in the courts and in our society. It is time to stand up for them.” Lemay says there is much to relate to in her book, even for people who have no connection to the transgender community. “Experiencing life, if only for a brief while, through someone else’s lens is a

Mimi Lemay

deep spiritual experience— it makes us all more human and connected,” she says. “We can all relate to struggling to fit into gender norms, we can all relate to loving our children beyond all measure.” To register to hear Mimi Lemay speak, and for more information about her appearance and the book festival, visit or contact Jill Grossman, director of Arts + Ideas at or 757-965-6137.

Outdoor Aquatic Center is preparing for lessons, teams, and family fun at the pool The Metzger Outdoor Aquatic Center and all of its options and features will open on Saturday, May 29. When the temperatures rise and Memorial Day weekend arrives, the Metzger Outdoor Aquatic Center at the Sandler Family Campus will be ready for swimmers and sun worshipers. • Social distancing of 10 feet between household groups is still in place. • P rivate swim lessons are now resuming. All instructors will be fully vaccinated. Contact Jacob Gynan to schedule lessons at or 757-321-2316. • Group lessons are expected to resume around June 1. • S wordfish summer swim team registration is now open with a deadline of May 5. The season runs June 1–July 22. Contact the JCC at 757-321-2338 to register kids ages 5-18.

16 | JEWISH NEWS | May 10, 2021 |

WHAT’S HAPPENING Hallie Ephron to discuss her latest novel, a combo of Marie Kondo and murder Thursday, May 13, 7:30 pm, Zoom, free Robyn Sidersky


allie Ephron didn’t start writing until she was 40, and published her first book 10 years later. Unlike the rest of her immediate family, she didn’t initially want to become a writer. But when a reporter called to write a magazine piece on her precisely because of that, she changed her course. Ephron thought, “that can’t be my story.” So, she started writing after teaching for years and working in management. She didn’t know if she could actually do it until she tried. Now, Ephron is a New York Times bestselling author and will speak about her newest novel, Careful What You Wish For as part of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and Simon Family JCC’s Lee and Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival. Her genre is what she calls “domestic suspense.” Crime and thriller fans will be familiar with her books, which include You’ll Never Know, Dear, Night, Night, Sleep Tight, There Was an Old Woman, and others. “The books are fun,” Ephron says. “They’re a little scary, a little creepy, but never icky.” The Chicago Review of Books called her novels “hyper-contemporary, engaging with our very of-the-moment-fears about family life and the modern world.” The publication called Careful What You Wish For a cross between Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up, Storage Wars, and murder.

Careful What You Wish For tells the story of Emily Harlow, a professional organizer who finds herself in a mess she can’t just declutter. It explores the relationships between declutter-ers and their clients and how the lines between professional and personal can be blurred. Ephron says she drew inspiration from her own husband. “When you’re an author, you’re always looking for conflict and I like to write stories set in houses, domestic suspense, and I’m married to a man who cannot pass a yard sale without stopping. So I’ve actually been writing about his collecting and my chagrin about it for the last 30 years. Marie Kondo wasn’t even born when I wrote my first essay about being married to a guy who collects everything.” Thankfully, Ephron’s husband doesn’t take anything personally. When Marie Kondo and organizing became trendy, it worked out for Ephron. She did a lot of research for the novel, connecting with people in the National Association for Professional Organizers. She researches the ickier parts too, talking to medical examiners, physicians, niche experts, and other mystery writers. Ephron’s upbringing was unusual in that her parents, Phoebe and Henry Ephron, were both Hollywood screenwriters. They were nominated for an Oscar for their work on Captain Newman, M.D. Her sisters, Nora, Delia, and Amy all became writers, too. Nora Ephron wrote the screenplays for movies such as When

Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle. Amy Ephron wrote children’s novels including Carnival for Magic and The Castle in the Mist. Delia was the screenwriter for You’ve Got Mail and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. “My mother was really the match that lit that bonfire,” Ephron says. “She was tough, she was brilliant and she was a writer and I don’t think my father would have been successful without her, but I also don’t think she would have been—she couldn’t have been—a writer without him because of the times. It wasn’t a time women were given opportunities in Hollywood.” When the family gathered each night for a meal, it wasn’t like any other household. “Growing up in that house, I always say competition at the dinner table was Darwinian. You really had to speak up to really make yourself heard, and everyone loved it if you made people laugh. We were all storytellers. That’s the one thing they really did right. Dinner every night at 6:30. You showed up and you behaved yourself and you contributed to the conversation.” Ephron estimates 60 to 100 books between the four sisters. “There was something magical about all the books on the shelves, about the expectations that they had of us that we would write, or at least express ourselves, you know, vehemently, forcefully as who we were, and I think that was unusual for four girls growing up in the 1950s and 60s,” she says. Along with writing, Ephron teaches

Hallie Ephron

writing at conferences. Her best advice for anyone who wants to be a writer is that they should just hold their nose and do it. “If you want to write, it’s because you’re a reader and you love the written word and you might have ideas. And because you’re a reader, you know what good prose sounds like. And there’s no question the first things you write will be terrible. So I say, just hold your nose and write and rewrite and rewrite and rewrite and just hang in there.” To register to hear Ephron speak, and for more information about her appearance and the Book Festival, visit bookfest or contact Jill Grossman, director of Arts + Ideas at or 757-965-6137.

Family Havdalah and magic with Ohef Sholom Temple Saturday, May 15, 6 - 7:30 pm, Ohef Sholom Temple parking lot


antor Jen will lead Havdalah at Ohef Sholom Temple’s first in-person, outdoor event of 2021. Bring chairs or blankets and a picnic style dinner to enjoy Havdalah and a magic and illusion show with Magician John Kingry! Social distancing practices will be in place with each group having their own parking spot to picnic. Parking will be available on Forman Field on Redgate Avenue. Participants are asked to stay in their designated spots in the temple parking lot during the event. This event will be capped and all attendees must register prior to the event. To register, visit The event will be streamed for those unable to attend. For more information or details regarding the event, contact Nina Kruger at | May 10, 2021 | JEWISH NEWS | 17

WHAT’S HAPPENING No more #QuietingtheSilence Blue Dove Foundation to speak about new book for Mental Health Awareness month Thursday, May 20, 7:30 pm, via Zoom, free Free, pre-registration required at Robyn Sidersky


ennifer Greenberg’s husband, Adam, was the first to tell a joke. He appeared happy and lively to his friends. But at home, he had a secret. He suffered from anxiety and depression. And he took his own life. “After it happened, everybody was so surprised that he was suffering,” Greenberg says. “Everybody said ‘I would have helped, I would have done something.’ We live in a place where people are ashamed. I think it’s really important that people talk about their feelings, struggles and seek help.” Greenberg wrote about her husband

in a book published by The Blue Dove Foundation called #QuietingtheSilence. It includes personal stories and essays about mental health and addiction. Greenberg will be one of the speakers at a community conversation as part of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and Simon Family JCC’s Lee and Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival. The event is in partnership with Jewish Family Service. The Jewish community is not immune to struggles with mental health and substance abuse. But people should know that the community is one place to turn for help. “The Blue Dove Foundation formed because there was a significant opportunity


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to talk about mental health within Judaism,” Greenberg says. “Jewish people want to look to their faith to feel better.” “As a community with a focus on tikkun olam, we work to eradicate the shame and stigma surrounding these issues. Once we achieve this goal, we can begin to improve and save lives” part of Blue Dove’s mission says. Greenberg’s father grew up in Norfolk, so speaking with the Tidewater community is special to her. The purpose of these type of events is to show that while a lot of people are struggling, resources are available to help. “People should be reminded that mental health is a disease like any other, and most of all, you shouldn’t be ashamed,” Greenberg says. “Once people start talking, people start to feel comfortable and people start to talk

and that spreads in a positive way, and that makes people feel better,” she says. Jewish Family Service recognizes that sometimes individuals and families need help navigating life’s challenges. JFS provides individual, couples, group, and family counseling services to people of all ages, regardless of affiliation. Their services are available to the entire Tidewater community. To learn more about JFS’ services or to connect with a counselor, call 757-459-4640 or email Counseling@ For more information and to RSVP for this event or learn more about upcoming book festival events, visit bookfest or contact Jill Grossman, director, arts + ideas at or 757-965-6137.

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18 | JEWISH NEWS | May 10, 2021 |

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CALENDAR THROUGH MAY 27, THURSDAYS The Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning presents OMG, Can You Believe?! In this 6-week course, taught by Rabbi Marc Kraus of Temple Emanuel, students will seek answers to the BIG questions around G-d and G-d’s relationship to humankind. This course will offer the tools to continue asking deep questions, probing personal beliefs, and rethinking the “G-dquestion” that confronts everyone. Course cost: $179, scholarships are available. The Melton School of Tidewater is a part of the Konikoff Center for Learning at the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. 9–10:30 am. For more information about the Konikoff Center of Learning or to register, visit or contact Sierra Lautman, director of Jewish Innovation, at or 757-965-6107. MAY 12, WEDNESDAY What We Will Become: A Mother, A Son, and a Journey of Transformation by Mimi Lemay. Presented by the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and Simon Family JCC’s Lee and Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival in partnership with Jewish Family Service of Tidewater. 12 pm. Free with pre-registration required. For more information and to register, visit, or contact Jill Grossman, director, Arts + Ideas, at or 757-965-6137. See page 16. MAY 13, THURSDAY As part of the Simon Family JCC’s Book Club Series, join New York Times best-selling author and award-winning book reviewer for the Boston Globe Hallie Ephron for a conversation on her book Careful What You Wish For. Presented by the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and Simon Family JCC’s Lee and Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival. 7:30 pm. FREE with pre-registration required. For more information and to register, visit or contact Jill Grossman, director, Arts + Ideas, at or 757-965-6137. See page 17. MAY 20, THURSDAY For the longest time, Jewish community avoided talking about the issues related to mental health. #Quieting the Silence: Personal Stories with The Blue Dove Foundation offers people a chance to share stories and perspectives related to their own life-changing experiences involving mental illness and addiction. Presented by the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and Simon Family JCC’s Lee and Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival in partnership with Jewish Family Service of Tidewater. 7:30 pm Free with pre-registration required. For more information and to register, visit, or contact Jill Grossman, director, Arts + Ideas, at or 757-965-6137. See page 18. JUNE 9, WEDNESDAY Faster: How a Jewish Driver, an American Heiress, and a Legendary Car Beat Hitler’s Best. Join a conversation with national award-winning writer and New York Times bestselling author Neal Bascomb. Presented by the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and Simon Family JCC’s Lee and Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival. Free and open to the community with pre-registration required. 7:30 pm. For more information and to register, visit or contact Jill Grossman, Director, Arts + Ideas, at jgrossman@ or 757-965-6137. JUNE 14, MONDAY It is said that, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” In Lisa Goldberg’s memoir, The Apple and the Shady Tree: The Mafia, My Family, and Me, she explores the veracity of this proverb by examining her complicated relationship with her father, whose closest friends happen to be bosses of the Genovese crime family. As part of the Simon Family JCC’s Book Club Series, and presented by United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and Simon Family JCC’s Lee and Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival.12 pm. Free and open to the community with pre-registration required. For more information and to register, visit JewishVA. org/BookFest or contact Jill Grossman, director, Arts + Ideas, at or 757-965-6137. JUNE 24, THURSDAY Considered one of the quintessential Jewish coming-of-age films, Keeping Up With The Steins offers a unique experience in true retro style—a multigenerational bonding experience the entire family will enjoy. In partnership with Simon Family JCC Summer Camp, as part of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and Simon Family JCC’s Patricia & Avraham Ashkenazi and Alma & Howard Laderberg Virginia Festival of Jewish Film. 8 pm. Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus of the Tidewater Jewish Community. Tickets are $12 per person, children 12 and under, and camp families, free. Kosher cookout dinner begins at 6:30 pm, included with pre-registration required by June 17. For more information on the 28th Annual Virginia Festival of Jewish Film, and to register, go to or contact Jill Grossman, director, Arts + Ideas, at or 757-965-6137. Send submissions for calendar to Be sure to note “calendar” in the subject. Include date, event name, sponsor, address, time, cost and phone.


(JTA)—The Jewish Story Partners foundation, which Steven Spielberg and wife Kate Capshaw helped found to fund Jewishthemed documentary films, announced its first slate of grantees last month. The 10 projects received $225,000 from Jewish Story Partners, which has received its initial funding from Spielberg’s Righteous Persons Foundation, the Maimonides Fund and the Jim Joseph Foundation. Here are the films: Coexistence My Ass!—Directed by Amber Fares The film follows Israeli comedian Noam Schuster, who is bent on using her standup routine to get Israelis to question their biases. The Conspiracy—Directed by Maxim Pozdorovkin The film looks at the history behind the lie “that a dangerous cabal of powerful Jews controls the world.” Meredith Monk: Dancing Voice, Singing Body—Directed by Billy Shebar and David Roberts The groundbreaking composer and choreographer, who has won the National Medal of Arts and a MacArthur grant, gets her own film. The pop legend Bjork is a co-producer. Rabbi—Directed by Sandi DuBowski Rabbi chronicles the story of pioneering Rabbi Amichau Lau-Lavie “from drag queen rebel to rabbinical student to founder of Lab/Shul, an everybody-friendly, God-optional, artist-driven, pop-up experimental congregation.” South Commons—Directed by Joey Soloway The Jewish creator of Transparent takes a hard look at the racial tensions in the Chicago community in which they grew up. Untitled Spiritual Care Documentary— Directed by Luke Lorentzen Mount Sinai hospitals in New York appoint interfaith chaplain residents each year—this film follows four of them. The Wild One—Directed by Tessa

Louise Salomé It’s the story of Jack Garfein, an Auschwitz survivor who went on to play a key role in the Actors’ Studio group and taught the craft to some of the last century’s biggest stars. Heroes—Directed by Avishai Mekonen and Shari Rothfarb Mekonen The tale of a group of Ethiopian-Jewish activists who fought to keep their community alive in the 1970s to 1990s, a time of harsh dictatorship. Joyva—Directed by Josh Freund and Sam Radutzky The 100-plus-year-old Joyva company is among the most recognized JewishAmerican candy companies, whose delicacies often end up at holiday celebrations such as Passover. The film focuses on the founder’s great-grandchildren, who are fighting to keep the business afloat. Walk With Me—Directed by Heidi Levitt Levitt tracks her husband’s battle with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.


(JTA)—Jewish actor Mandy Patinkin never thought he had family members who died in the Holocaust. The team behind Finding Your Roots, the long-running PBS celebrity genealogy show, proved he was mistaken. In his episode, Patinkin learns that he has family who were rounded up in Bransk, in northeastern Poland, and sent to the Treblinka concentration camp. As he reads out a description of how his family members—along with the thousands of other Jews in Bransk—were burned in a crematorium at Treblinka, Patinkin breaks down. He says he would always explain in interviews that he wasn’t directly related to any Holocaust victims. “I don’t have words,” he says. Before becoming emotional, Patinkin is asked by host Henry Louis Gates Jr. how he thinks the Holocaust could have happened. “My job is to imagine, that is my profession,” he says. “I have never been able to get a hold of that.” | May 10, 2021 | JEWISH NEWS | 19



Elie Wiesel to be the first Jew honored with a bust in the National Cathedral in Washington

Elie Wiesel

Ron Kampeas

WASHINGTON ( JTA)—Washington’s National Cathedral, known for its role during presidential inaugurations and other days of national import, is honoring Elie Wiesel, the Nobel Peace Laureate and Holocaust memoirist with a bust, making him the first Jew to be so honored. Or maybe not the first, depending on where you sit. “I would say he is the first 20th-century Jewish person,” the cathedral’s dean, Rev. Randy Hollerith, says when asked how Wiesel came to be the first Jew to earn a sculpted depiction at the cathedral. Asked if he was referring to Jesus and some of the apostles, who also make appearances in statues and in busts in the Washington landmark, Hollerith says yes. “I’m just being a little not quite tongue in cheek, it is accurate to say there are others,” he says. There are also depictions of Jewish prophets, including Noah, Joab, Isaiah and Jeremiah, on the cathedral’s stained glass windows. Wiesel’s bust joins other luminaries on the Human Rights Porch, visible as one enters the cathedral, which is also a

popular tourist destination. Among them are Mother Teresa, Rosa Parks and Oscar Romero, the El Salvador archbishop who was assassinated in 1980 while saying Mass. The cathedral, Hollerith says, is not just a Christian shrine, but a tribute to those who loom large in the American consciousness. “It’s important for us that whenever people come into the cathedral, that they see not only in the iconography reflected, you know, saints and other parts of the Christian faith, but they also see folks throughout the 20th century who stand as examples in our country,” he says. There are corners of the cathedral devoted to Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. There is also a Darth Vader bust that looms gargoyle-like outside the cathedral, the result of a design competition for kids to stir up interest in the cathedral when it was expanding in the 1980s. Hollerith says the Christian context was key to understanding Wiesel’s importance. “Quite frankly to me to have him in this cathedral is also a reminder for everyone who walks through those doors of the reality of the Holocaust and what happened, and that it must never be forgotten,” he says. “And I think that’s doubly important to have within a Christian context.” The cathedral belongs to the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, but it endeavors in its mission of being “a sacred space where the country gathers during moments of national significance” to be open to all faiths and Christian denominations. Rabbis and Imans routinely take part in services that take place the day after presidential inaugurations. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached at the cathedral the Sunday before his assassination. The cathedral hosted Donald Trump’s 2017 post-inaugural service, but in 2019, after Trump called Baltimore a “disgusting,

20 | JEWISH NEWS | May 10, 2021 |

rat and rodent-infested mess” and told a group of critical left-wing congresswomen to “go back” to their countries, the cathedral had enough. “As faith leaders who serve at Washington National Cathedral—the sacred space where America gathers at moments of national significance—we feel compelled to ask: After two years of President Trump’s words and actions, when will Americans have enough?” the cathedral’s clergy said in a statement. This year the church maintained the post-inaugural tradition, although President Joe Biden kept himself at a virtual distance. There are a number of other D.C.-area houses of worship that attach “national” to their name, including at least one synagogue, and a popular Jewish guessing game in Washington since Joe Lieberman was on the 2000 Democratic presidential ticket has been: If a Jewish president is elected, will the cathedral tradition continue? The church started consulting with the Wiesel family in 2017, about a year after his death. They reviewed a number of photos and chose a likeness. Chas Fagan, a member of the U.S. Commission on Fine Arts who has crafted multiple works in the cathedral, created the clay model. Sean Callahan used medieval techniques to carve the bust from stone. Elie Wiesel’s widow, Marion Wiesel, says the bust is a means of advancing Wiesel’s teachings. “Not only does his presence in the National Cathedral memorialize his life and honor his commitment to human rights; it also ensures that new generations will learn from his teachings and carry the lessons of his life forward into the future,” she says in the cathedral’s release. The formal dedication of the bust will take place in the Fall of 2021.

JANICE M. HURLEY CHESAPEAKE—Janice M. Hurley, age 62, passed away Tuesday, April 20, 2021 in her Chesapeake home surrounded by her loving family. Janice was born in Portsmouth General Hospital in Portsmouth on October 10, 1958, the daughter of the late Frank and Esther Newman. She is survived by her husband of 42 years, Daniel Hurley, daughters Erin Hurley and Allison Hurley; sisters Phyllis Newman, Amy Kartage, and Darlene Carver; nephew Paul Kartage, niece Becky Kartage, sister-in-law Janice Fontaine (Scott) and nephew Liam Fontaine. Janice worked for the City of Norfolk for 40 years primarily as an analyst and as a demographer for Public Works, Budget, Economic Development and City Planning. As a dedicated mother, she gave up some of her service time to work part time to spend more time with her two daughters during their early years, being credited with 34 years of service retirement with the City. With much regret, she medically retired as a Senior City Planner in the summer of 2020. Janice was a wonderful wife, mother, and sister who often sustained everyone around her in their time of need or just celebrating the pure joy of living. She had great resiliency making many trips to Duke Medical pleasurable by finding nice restaurants and regardless of fatigue or surgery, could never pass up a quality bakery upon our return travel. She was an avid baker herself and on trips near and far, always brought a large suitcase for her purchased goods and gifts for others. A great trip planner, she made every family vacation outstanding by finding the best accommodations that enhanced family stays with plenty of fun side trips, restaurants, and always a bakery. A good day for Janice was reading a book, watching Gilmore Girls with her daughters, enjoying her pets, baking, and just being home with family. A memorial service was held at Sturtevant Funeral Home. A great lover of pets, particularly kitties, donations in her name can be made to the Chesapeake Humane Society,

OBITUARIES JANNA MARJORIE LEVINSTEIN NORFOLK—Janna Levinstein, 74, passed away on April 18, 2021. Her family will miss her dearly. Condolences can be made at To plant memorial trees in memory, visit the Sympathy Store. ROBERT BRUCE SHAPIRO NORFOLK—Robert Bruce Shapiro, 70, of Norfolk passed away Tuesday, March 31, 2020. Arrangements by Affinity Funeral Service Richmond Chapel. ELI BROAD, PHILANTHROPIST WHO REMADE LOS ANGELES AND GAVE TO JEWISH CAUSES Ron Kampeas

(JTA)—Eli Broad, the Jewish philanthropist who strove to reshape Los Angeles as an international culture capital and also gave to Jewish causes, has died at 87. Broad died Friday, April 30, a spokeswoman for the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation told The New York Times. She did not name a cause. Broad, who became a billionaire in the building and insurance businesses, is best remembered for helping start the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and the Broad, an art museum he named after himself, and for pouring money into several of the city’s other cultural institutions. He was also deeply influential in education policy, creating a program—the Broad Academy—that trained school and district leaders to incorporate ideas from the business world. The program, and the leaders who graduated from it, made Broad’s name synonymous with a brand of school reform despised by teachers unions. Broad, who was born in the Bronx and raised in Detroit, also gave significant sums to Jewish causes, including the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles, eJewish Philanthropy reported. In 2007, Broad gave $1 million to the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia. He also gave to the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, a nonprofit founded by late Israeli President Shimon Peres aimed at

fostering cross-cultural ties in the Middle East through economic and leadership programs. He was notorious among charities for micromanaging his projects and withdrawing pledged funds if he did not believe the charity was meeting the goals he set. “When Eli gives, it is like negotiating a business deal,” Lynda Resnick, a fellow board member on the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, said in the Times 2010 profile of Broad. “It is not altruistic. It is not blind charity. And there is a difference between being generous and being charitable. But it doesn’t matter in the end because the good was still done.” The Broad Institute was founded in the 2000s to consolidate informal genome research coordination between Harvard and MIT scientists. Broad and his wife have given the institute hundreds of millions of dollars, and the institute has become a leader in testing for COVID-19.

The Broads signed The Giving Pledge in 2020, a commitment launched to get billionaires to give away at least half their fortune during and after their lifetimes. Broad often said he chose to settle and give to Los Angeles because it was relatively young and had a fledgling establishment that did not shun those

born without wealth, or who do not belong to the right religion. “You can come to this city as I did 40 some odd years ago without the right background, familywise, politically, religiously, and be accepted if you’re willing to work hard, have good ideas, and make things happen,” he told the L.A. Times in 2010.

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This Hungarian coffee cake is even better than babka Joe Baur


ne morning, my wife suggested I look into making a different kind of bread. I asked what she had in mind and she mentioned monkey bread. I’d never heard of it. So, I Googled and turns out that monkey bread is actually a yeasted cake. Its origins are rooted in the immigrant Hungarian Jewish community that came to the United States. I immediately thought of my father’s grandparents, Jews who immigrated from the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. I texted my father and sure enough he remembered his grandmother, Bertha Stern, making him what she called Hungarian coffee cake, but what many call aranygaluska. Aranygaluska looks something like a Bundt cake without the doughnut hole and the splash of powdered sugar. That’s because the goodness lies within, where the warm, gooey jam awaits between

doughy dumplings covered in butter, cinnamon and brown sugar. Aranygaluska has all the characteristics of a dessert but can just as easily go down with your morning cup of coffee. Jewish food historian Gil Marks included aranygaluska in his Encyclopedia of Jewish Food, noting the arrival of the “golden dumpling” in the 1880s. Hungarian Jewish immigrants started selling it in their bakeries sometime in the mid-20th century, and it transcended Jewish foods when it was included in a 1972 edition of Betty Crocker, referred to as “Hungarian Coffee Cake,” as my great-grandmother called it. Eventually it became known as monkey bread. I admittedly was a bit verklempt when I realized I had stumbled upon a heritage food, especially one laced with two of my favorite ingredients, cinnamon and honey. This is great for an inexperienced baker because it’s a difficult recipe to screw

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up. As you get your dough together, it just involves taking pieces of that dough, swooshing them around in bowls of butter and cinnamon sugar, then arranging the

chunks of sweetness in layers. Fill the gaps with jam and you’re set. This article originally appeared on The Nosher.


2¼ tsp dry active yeast 1 tsp sugar 1 cup water or warm milk 3 large eggs, beaten 1 tsp kosher salt ½ cup or 1 stick melted butter ½ cup honey ¼ cup sugar

4–5 cups flour For the topping: ½ cup or 1 stick melted butter 3 Tbsp cinnamon 1½–2 cups ground walnuts 1½–2 cups brown sugar ¼ tsp kosher salt ¼ –¹/3 cup jam (some recipes call for apricot but I used a mixed berry jam)

Directions 1. P ut your yeast in a small bowl with 1 tsp sugar. Pour in a cup of warm milk or water and whisk together. Let it sit for the next 5-10 minutes until it foams. 2. In a large bowl or mixing bowl if you’ll be using a stand mixer, whisk together your eggs, salt, sugar, honey and melted butter. (Make sure your melted butter has cooled to at least room temperature before mixing it with the eggs.) 3. Once your yeast is activated (foamy), dump it into your mixing bowl and start working in your flour. Continue adding your flour in stages until a ball starts to form. Then, drop the dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes. Place your kneaded dough into a lightly oiled pot and leave it in a warm environment to rise for the next 60-90 minutes. 4. M eanwhile, start making your topping. Throw the walnuts into a food processor and run it until very fine. Mix that with your brown sugar, cinnamon and pinch of salt. Melt a stick or ½ cup butter into a second bowl. 5. T ake some of your melted butter and grease your pan. Then, generously layer the bottom with your cinnamon-sugar-walnut-mix. 6. O nce your dough has risen, preheat your oven to 360 F. Punch the dough out onto your working surface. At this point, there are two methods to make your dumplings. You can either roll out the dough until it’s about a ½-inch thick or eyeball it. I’m on team “eyeball it” and use my dough cutter to cut off golf ballsized dumplings. However you do it, roll your dumpling into a ball and drop it into your bowl of melted butter. Then drop your butter-coated dumpling into your cinnamon-sugar-walnut mix, covering it on all sides. Place the dumpling into your pan and repeat, leaving a little space between each one. 7. A fter you complete the bottom layer, place a dollop of jam on each dumpling. Don’t overdo it with the jam or it’ll seep out of the sides of your springform pan, burn in the bottom of your oven and ooze out when you remove the spring. 8. Using a 9-inch pan, you’ll only have two layers of dumplings. After you complete your second layer, coat the dish with whatever butter you have left followed by the rest of your topping mix. Throw it immediately into the oven for 35-40 minutes until golden. 9. Remove the aranygaluska from the oven and let it cool off for a good 15 minutes before removing the ring.


Danial Watts receives Stein Family College Scholarship Thomas Mills


he annual Stein Family College Scholarship of the Tidewater Jewish Foundation was recently awarded to Danial Watts, a soon-to-be graduate of Princess Anne High School in Virginia Beach. Watts is the 13th recipient of the fouryear scholarship, which provides up to $10,000 per year to a Jewish student in Tidewater. The scholarship was established in 2009 in memory of Arlene Stein, who did not complete college because of financial hardship. Arlene passed away in 2007 and her beloved husband, Jerry Stein, died in 2014. TJF works closely with the Stein family each year to administer the scholarship. “A big thank you to the Stein family for this,” says Watts. “It’s definitely a huge help to my future. It really cuts the cost of school in half for me and makes the 30 years after college a lot easier.” The next step in Watts’ future will be to Virginia Tech this fall. Watts chose Tech after touring other universities in the state. “I was torn between Virginia Tech and James Madison University,” says Watts. “After I toured Virginia Tech and looked more into their business schools, I realized Tech was just the better choice for me. It felt more like a home to me than other schools did.” Like students around the world, the past year has been trying for Watts as he’s navigated his schooling and college applications amidst the COIVD-19 pandemic. “Attending school online is something that I’ve never done before,” he says. “So, it was hard to adjust. It was hard to really connect to what I was learning about. Once I got the hang of it, I was able to figure things out and did well this year.” When not navigating the pandemic, Watts is very busy, both at school and in

the community. He’s on PA’s varsity tennis team and holds two jobs, one of which is as a lifeguard at the Simon Family JCC. This summer, he will be a camp counselor at Camp JCC. Plus, he is active with BBYO. “I’m very big into BBYO,” says Watts. “I’m the Council president for Virginia and the International head of press corps, which consists of me doing photography and news articles. So, I get to work with teens all around the world.” Since joining BBYO in 2017, Watts has felt significantly closer to his faith and the Jewish community. “After I left the Hebrew Academy of Tidewater (now Strelitz International Academy), I didn’t really have much of a connection to the Jewish community,” he says. “So, joining BBYO brought that back and it was nice to really feel Jewish again and re-establish a connection to the religion and to God. I feel a lot more Jewish than I ever have because of BBYO. I want to join Hillel in college and go to synagogue when I can and keep practicing holidays.” While Watts doesn’t know what he wants to do after college, he does have a few ideas on what he wants to do in the future. “Ideally, I’d like to own a company one day,” says Watts. “I have my own photography business and so, if I could somehow incorporate that into my future goals, that’d be great. If I’m able to comfortably be a photographer and make good money doing that, then I’d love to do that as well.” Regardless of what his future holds, Watts hopes to one day be in a position to help others, just as he was helped with the Stein Family College Scholarship. “I think a very important attribute of Jews is that we always help each other,” says Watts. “The Stein Family Scholarship is a really good representation of that: of

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Jews helping Jews. To be able to be helped, it’s inspired me to one day, if I have the stability and the money, to help others. I definitely want to do the same, especially after receiving help myself.” Prior recipients of the scholarship include Morgan Conley (Brandeis University ’13), Eric Smith (University of Virginia ’14), Marissa Arager (George Mason University ’15), Avi Malkin (College of William and Mary ’16), Dinar Yusufov (James Madison University ’17), Amanda Gladstone (Virginia Tech ’18), Dana Cohen (Virginia Tech ’19), Brett Pomerantz (Virginia Tech ’20), Sydney Levine (University of Virginia ’21), and Lucie Waldman (Old Dominion University), Faith White (Kent State University, ’23), and Emily Myers (Shenandoah University, ‘24).

Danial Watts

contact Ann Swindell, Tidewater Jewish Foundation Donor Relations and Grant Manager, at or 757-965-6111.

For more information and to apply for next year’s Stein Family College Scholarship,

SAVE THE DATE Biennial Meeting & Installation of Officers Tuesday, June 15

6:30 pm Reception

7 - 8 pm Program

Outside on the Sandler Family Campus 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Virginia Beach

Kosher hors d’oeuvres served RSVP required to

Wynston Hammack, or 757.965.6124 | May 10, 2021 | JEWISH NEWS | 23




AMERICAN CLASSICS with THE VIRGINIA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Gerard Schwarz, conductor Aundi Marie Moore, soprano Works by Copland, Barber, and Still

MAY 14


MAY 15



Acclaimed conductor Gerard Schwarz and Grammy®-winning soprano Aundi Marie Moore join the VSO for American Classics!

This production made possible through a generous gift from the Susan Goode Performance Fund Supported in part by the Fannie, Milton & Leslie Friedman Family Foundation Classical Music Fund of the Virginia Arts Festival Endowment 5/14 - This program funded in part by the City of Newport News and the Newport News Arts Commission. Virginia Arts Festival’s commitment to diverse programing is funded in part by

Dominion Energy and The Virginian Pilot Arts of Color Fund of the Virginia Arts Festival endowment

OLGA KERN, piano; LARA ST. JOHN, violin; AMANDA FORSYTH, cello Works of Saint-Saëns, Chopin, Grieg




5/25 - Supported in part by the Fannie, Milton and Leslie Friedman Foundation Classical Music Fund of the Virginia Arts Festival endowment 5/26 - This program is funded in part by the citizens of Virginia Beach through a grant from the Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission.

Part of the




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